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Meet Vinny Ciurciu

Along with TE Visanthe Shiancoe. . .who really doesn't need to be mentioned here, but I'm quite happy that I can now spell his name without looking it up. . .the Vikings' other free agent signing yesterday was former Carolina Panthers' linebacker Vincenzo "Vinny" Ciurciu (pronounced CHURCH-oo).  Ciurciu has been primarily a special teams player since coming into the NFL 4 years ago, but might compete for playing time at linebacker with the Vikings as well.

Ciurciu spent his freshman year of college playing fullback for Clemson.  He then transferred to Boston College and was moved to linebacker.  After graduating from Boston College, he was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Panthers.  He was then cut and placed on the Panthers' practice squad, where he picked up by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Ciurciu played in all four Tampa playoff games in 2003 (which means. . .hey. . .he's got a Super Bowl ring!), and was cut by the Bucs after the season.  He then re-signed with Carolina, where he's been for the past couple of seasons.

And, to be honest, that's really all the info I've managed to find on him at this point.  Sounds like a pretty decent special teamer. . .apparently he ran a 4.43 40-yard dash at his Boston College Pro Day prior to the 2003 draft, which is pretty impressive for a 240 pounder.  Since I don't have much more info on him, here's a picture I managed to find of him working out (courtesy of DeFranco's Training in New Jersey.)

That's a rather large tire he's flipping, near as I can tell.

Update [2007-3-4 13:38:2 by Gonzo]:
Apparently the deal that Ciurciu signed is a 3-year deal worth $3 million with a $500,000 signing bonus, according to Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Again, nothing too outrageous.