The Vikings signed cornerback Benny Sapp to a one-year deal that will pay him close to $800,000. Sapp visited the Vikings on Monday after having visits with Cleveland and Detroit earlier in free agency. He had been set to go to Green Bay but decided against making that visit after talking to the Vikings.
“This was more of an opportunity move than a money move,” said Alonzo Shavers, who serves as Sapp’s agent. “We had more money on the table [elsewhere] but this was the best opportunity and best fit for him.”
Said Sapp: “I love the opportunity the coaches are giving me and loved the coaching staff. It’s really family oriented and that’s what I wanted to be a part of. When you have a team like that you can go far.”
Sapp, 27, an undrafted player from Northern Iowa, spent the past four seasons as a backup with the Kansas City Chiefs. Sapp will provide the Vikings with depth and also has the ability to play on special teams.
“I’m coming in to compete for a cornerback job,” Sapp said. “There’s an opportunity everywhere to compete. I don’t downplay anybody’s game. You just have to go in and compete and the best man wins.”
Sapp could get the chance to push Cedric Griffin for the job at the right corner and also challenge cornerback Charles Gordon for a job in the nickel defense. It helps that Sapp played in a very similar defensive system with the Chiefs.
“He’s very familiar with the defensive scheme there,” Shavers said. “After talking to the coaches and evaluating game tapes it fits into his style of play. Plus, Kansas City and Minnesota practice in the preseason so they have a good understanding of one another. The Vikings knew who he was and he had some level of familiarity with who they were and what type of scheme they run. It was a good mesh.”
The Vikings also found out this morning that free-agent defensive end James Hall won’t be coming here. Hall, who was released by the Rams in February, re-signed with the team, according to the Associated Press.
– West Virginia free safety Ryan Mundy told Sirius NFL Radio that he has a visit scheduled with the Vikings. Mundy started playing college football at Michigan before spending his senior year at West Virginia.
– Check out this Houston Chronicle story. Texans coach Gary Kubiak is trying to convince everyone that the fact his team signed Quinn Gray doesn’t mean it wants to trade Sage Rosenfels. But if the Vikings do agree to send Houston a second-round pick for Rosenfels — Minnesota previously offered a third-rounder and the Texans wanted a second-rounder — chances are Houston will say yes.