Cornerback Karl Paymah, who had spent his first four NFL seasons with the Denver Broncos, agreed to a one-year, $1.55 million contract that includes $500,000 in potential incentives that could bring the deal to over $2 million.
Considering the Vikings investment in Paymah, it's expected he will be given every chance to win a job playing in the nickel package. Minnesota also is bringing back Charles Gordon and Benny Sapp. Both saw time in the nickel last season.
Paymah also will be expected to make a big contribution on special teams.
The Vikings also signed receiver Glenn Holt, who should be a frontrunner for the top kick return job and battle for a position as the fourth or fifth receiver.
Unlike a year ago when the Vikings were extremely active in free agency, those are the only two signings outside the organization.
The Vikings made a strong push to land wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh but that did not happen and the team did not sign a player from another roster until two weeks of free agency had passed. The Vikings also lost center Matt Birk to the Baltimore Ravens after he spent 11 seasons in Minnesota.
The Vikings opened the new league year by trading for Houston quarterback Sage Rosenfels and then re-signing tight end Jim Kleinsasser. The Vikings also let go of three of their own players, releasing quarterback Gus Frerotte, running back Maurice Hicks and linebacker Vinny Ciurciu.
1. Right tackle: Ryan Cook hasn't proven to be the answer and versatile veteran Artis Hicks is probably best suited to serve as a backup.
2. Wide receiver: The Vikings have depth here with Bernard Berrian, Bobby Wade, Sidney Rice, Darius Reynaud and Aundrae Allison. But the strong run they made at T.J. Houshmandzadeh made it clear the team wants to upgrade its talent level.
3. Center: With free agent Matt Birk having signed with Baltimore, the Vikings seem prepared to turn over the job to 2008 sixth-round pick John Sullivan. The Vikings likely want to add more depth at this position and create competition for Sullivan so he isn't handed the job.
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