This past Tuesday, Nov. 1, the Minnesota Vikings brought in four free agents for workouts.
The first player that the Vikings had in was running back Aaron Brown. A former Detroit Lions sixth-round draft pick out of TCU in 2009, Brown has had limited success since entering the NFL. On Sep. 4, 2011, the Lions released Brown as part of the final cuts to get the active roster down to 53 men. Throughout his three-year NFL career, Brown has amassed 159 yards on 44 carries and has hauled in 17 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown.
Considering that third-down back Lorenzo Booker missed last week’s game due a concussion and second-stringer Toby Gerhart appeared hobbled at times during the game, the Vikings trying out a running back comes as no surprise. Brown also has experience as a kick returner (959 career yards), which could be another potential reason for the invite.
The next player on the Vikings’ invite list was wide receiver Jamar Newsome. Most recently of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Newsome was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2011 out of UCF. After making the 53-man active roster to begin the season, he was eventual cut before being re-signed to the practice squad. He was then waived from the practice squad on Oct. 18, 2011, and has been roaming the free agency market ever since. So far in his short NFL career, he has played in two games but has yet to accumulate any statistics.
The Vikings recently released wide receiver Bernard Berrian and will be looking far and wide in hopes of discovering young receivers who can be reliable targets for rookie quarterback Christian Ponder. That’s why Newsome landed this invite.
The third player that the Vikings had in for a tryout was offensive tackle Tyler Polumbus. Since going undrafted in 2008, Polumbus has been a part of three different NFL teams, including the Denver Broncos, Lions and Seattle Seahawks. He was initially signed by the Broncos but was eventually released in 2009. After his release, he was claimed off of waivers by the Lions only to be traded to the Seahawks six days later. He started in seven games for the Seahawks in 2010 but was waived by the team on Oct. 25, 2011. During his first four NFL seasons, he has played in 51 games, including 15 starts.
There’s no need to explain why the Vikings are taking a look at an offensive lineman with experience.
The final invitee for the Vikings was cornerback C.J. Wilson. Originally drafted by the Carolina Panthers out of Baylor in the seventh round in 2007, Wilson has been a solid backup in their secondary. Playing in 23 games over a four-year span, he has compiled 27 tackles and four defended passes while working as a sub-package defensive back. The Panthers released the versatile coverage man this offseason in order to make room for some of their younger cornerbacks.
With the injury bug still keeping Antoine Winfield down, Chris Cook dealing with potential career-ending issues with the law and Cedric Griffin struggling more than ever, the Vikings are in desperate need of some help in the secondary.
Although none of the four players were signed to a contract, their workouts show that the Vikings have their sights set on discovering new talent as they continue to build towards what should be a brighter 2012 NFL season.