Vikings sign former Gophers LB Simoni Lawrence

Ex-Gophers linebacker Simoni Lawrence played in the CFL last year.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings are dipping into the Canadian Football League again, and this time bringing a player back to Minnesota.

The Vikings announced Friday they signed linebacker Simoni Lawrence, who played at the University of Minnesota. Lawrence, 25, played last season for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the CFL after being an undrafted free agent in 2010 out of Minnesota when he signed with the St. Louis Rams.

Lawrence was released by St. Louis later in the summer and hasn’t appeared in an NFL game, despite short stints with four teams. Lawrence’s last NFL chance came with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2011, but he was released in training camp.

Lawrence played one season in the United Football League before making his way to Canada and playing the two seasons in the CFL. He had 52 tackles, one sack, three forced fumbles and three interceptions for Hamilton last season.

Minnesota has signed receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux and linebacker Solomon Elimimian out of the CFL in recent years.

Lawrence was a junior college transfer to the University of Minnesota in 2008 and spent two seasons with the Gophers, finishing with 151 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, six sacks, two interceptions and three forced fumbles in two seasons with the Gophers.

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