Cornerback Tye Hill, a first-round pick of the St. Louis Rams in the 2006 draft who wasn't tendered an offer last month by the Atlanta Falcons, visited with the Vikings Monday and was weighing options between coming to Minnesota or accepting a contract offer from the Tennessee Titans. Hill decided to sign with the Titans. It may not be a huge loss, but it keeps the Vikings in search of cornerback depth.
The Vikings' interest in Hill stems from uncertainty at the cornerback position. Cedric Griffin is rehabilitating a torn ACL suffered during the NFC Championship Game and Antoine Winfield struggled through injuries much of last season. Hill wasn't viewed as a potential starter, but a player who might have provided a skilled veteran if Griffin isn't ready for the start of the 2010 season or Winfield has ongoing problems with injuries. It's also possible that Hill might not have even made the 53-man roster, which would be a quick fall from grace for a former first-round pick.
Hill is the second veteran who made a stop at Winter Park, only to sign with another team. Last month, LaDainian Tomlinson was wined and dined by the Vikings, but accepted less money to go to the New York Jets, primarily because he was given the chance for more playing time with the Jets than he would receive with the Vikings as Adrian Peterson's primary backup.
As we close out the first month of free agency, the Vikings have little to show for it in terms of players signed. While the team has re-signed veteran defenders Jimmy Kennedy and Benny Sapp, they have had a minimal role in free agency, which isn't likely to change all that much as teams begin the process of getting into the bunker to plan their 2010 draft strategy.
Although Hill wouldn't have been critical to the success or lack thereof for 2010, it isn't that the Vikings aren't trying to fill needs. They just haven't found the way to lock down any outside help just yet.