Fullback Naufahu Tahi won’t be leaving Minnesota for Cincinnati.
The Vikings plan to match the $1.4 million, one-year offer sheet the restrictred free agent received from the Bengals last Friday. The Vikings had until today to make the decision. Tahi had received the low tender of $1.01 million from the Vikings and obviously felt Tahi was worth the additional money.
“Honestly, we didn’t know which way it was going to go,” Tahi’s agent, David Lee, said this morning. “It’s difficult to decide on a one-year deal for some teams but I told Fahu this morning, ‘I think you’re in a good situation football-wise either way.’ We’re pretty happy Minnesota [kept] him but we would have been happy with Cincinnati as well. … He’s in a great situation financially and football-wise and either way we really couldn’t lose.”
Part of the Vikings decision might have been driven by the fact that free-agent fullback Leonard Weaver decided to sign with Philadelphia last week.
The Vikings would have received no compensation for Tahi if he had been allowed to leave for the Bengals. That’s because Tahi was not drafted out of Brigham Young and ended up signing with the Bengals as a free agent. He landed with the Vikings in November 2006 when they signed him off Cincinnati’s practice squad. Tahi took over as the Vikings’ lead fullback last season after Thomas Tapeh was released early in the regular season.
Lee said there was some talk with the Vikings about doing a multiyear deal for Tahi last year but said those conversations probably wouldn’t be revisited for a while. “I think down the road, if things are going well, then sure, it’s a possibility,” Lee said. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”