Vikings agree to one-year deals with CB Derek Cox and DT Fred Evans
In a matter of hours, the Minnesota Vikings altered their long-troubled secondary and brought back another piece to their changing defensive line.
After Minnesota signed former Carolina Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn to a three-year contract Thursday afternoon, sources told FOX Sports North that the Vikings have also agreed to terms with free-agent cornerback Derek Cox on a one-year deal. Minnesota also agreed to terms to bring back defensive tackle Fred Evans on a one-year deal.
Cox, 27, spent last season with the San Diego Chargers after four years with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who made Cox a third-round draft pick in 2009 out of William & Mary. Cox started 11 of 16 games with San Diego last year and had 38 tackles, one interception and seven pass deflections.
Cox signed a four-year contract with San Diego as a free agent last offseason, worth up to $19.8 million, but he was released last week before his $4.25 million contract would have become guaranteed.
The 6-foot-1 Cox adds more depth to the Vikings’ secondary, which added the 5-foot-8 Munnerlyn earlier in the day. Munnerlyn said he will start for Minnesota and move inside to cover the slot receiver in the team’s nickel defense. The Vikings also return Xavier Rhodes, a first-round pick last season who started six games, and Josh Robinson, a 2012 third-round pick who started 10 games last year.
Cox and Munnerlyn add experience to a young cornerback group that includes Shaun Prater, Kip Edwards and Robert Steeples, as well.
Before signing with the Chargers, Cox was a full-time starter in Jacksonville, starting 45 of his 47 games with the Jaguars. He has 13 career interceptions and 39 pass deflections. He had a career-high 72 tackles as a 16-game starter in his rookie season in 2009.
Evans 30, returns to a defensive line that was expected to see a lot of transition with veterans Jared Allen and Kevin Williams becoming free agents. The Vikings also released defensive tackle Letroy Guion last week.
Minnesota fortified the line last week by re-signing defensive end Everson Griffen, who was scheduled to become a free agentm, and signed former New York Giants nose tackle Linval Joseph on Wednesday to a five-year contract.
Evans will probably return as a backup behind Joseph. Evans started in three of his 14 games last year, his seventh season with the Vikings. Evans had 20 tackles and one forced fumble last season. Outplaying Guion for much of the past two seasons, Evans had career-highs with 23 tackles and two sacks in 2012 while playing all 16 games.
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