Paymah agrees to deal with Vikings

March 14th, 2009 – 5:19 PM by Judd Zulgad

Cornerback Karl Paymah agreed to a one-year deal with the Vikings on Saturday, making him the first free agent from outside the organization to sign with the team this offseason. Paymah’s agent, Michael Hoffman, declined to give the terms of the deal but called it “a strong deal,” that is “reflective of the interest that there was in him.”

Update: The contract is worth $1.55 million and, according to a report on, includes another potential $500,000 in incentives.

Paymah, who spent the past four seasons with Denver, also visited Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Cleveland and San Francisco. Asked what sold his client on Minnesota, Hoffman said: ”The coaching staff was a big factor in his decision. Just how he connected wtih the coaches, the scheme, their plan. He was torn, though. He was going back and forth with Tampa and at one point it looked as though he was on the next flight to Tampa but when it came down to it I think the visit he had in Minnesota and Rick Spielman’s relentless pursuit of him and some of the other factors of the deal made him a Viking.”

Paymah likely will compete with Benny Sapp for a job in the nickel defense. Sapp signed a one-year deal to return to the Vikings this week. “I think he’s going to come in and expects to be a key contributor, but at the same time he understands they have great players and people to learn from,” Hoffman said of Paymah. “But he’s looking forward to coming in and making a big impact in whatever way possible. I expect him to showcase what he can do and be a big contributor for the Vikings.”

Paymah started two games for the Broncos last season and has made five regular-season starts in his career. He also has three interceptions, all in the past two seasons.

The scouting report

Was looking for some scouting information on Karl Paymah and found this from Scouts, Inc. from 2005 when Paymah was coming out of Washington State. He went in the third round that year to Denver. Here it is:

Strengths: Is a big, experienced, physical and confident cornerback. Has very good timed speed, is a “workout warrior” and has upside. Has experience in press coverage, both in man and zone schemes. Does a good job with his press technique. Will smother receivers at the line of scrimmage and take them out of their routes. Is adept in a cover-2 look at funneling receivers inside. Has adequate awareness and recognition skills in zone coverage. Also does a very good job of protecting himself in man-coverage and won’t give up many big plays. Is tough and effective in run support, and is experienced and productive on special teams.

Weaknesses: Doesn’t play as fast as his 40-time would indicate. Has great agility drill times but looks somewhat stiff on film. Seems to lack some natual athleticism. Loses too much in transition when turning and running. Does not have great ball skills, either. Knocks down a lot of passes but doesn’t show great hands or confidence when going for the interception. Seems to have some trouble locating the ball over his shoulder.



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