Mike Zimmer said this morning at the NFL owners meetings that the Vikings are close to reaching a contract agreement with free-agent cornerback Terence Newman, one of Zimmer’s former players.
Newman visited the Vikings last week but left the Twin Cities without a deal. The two sides stayed in touch, though, and Newman now appears to be close to officially reuniting with Zimmer.
Zimmer was in Dallas when the Cowboys drafted Newman fifth overall in the 2003 draft. Zimmer coached Newman for four seasons there. Newman would later be selected to a pair of Pro Bowls.
After Newman’s play dropped from that Pro Bowl level, he signed in 2012 with the Bengals, whose defense was being coordinated by Zimmer at the time. Newman, who started for the Bengals the past three seasons, again benefited from the relationship before Zimmer joined the Vikings in 2014.
Last season, though, Newman wasn’t as sharp. And considering he turns 37 in September and will be one of the league’s oldest cornerbacks, it’s fair to wonder how much he has in the tank.
But the Vikings need more capable bodies at the position. Their depth wasn’t tested in 2014, with Xavier Rhodes, Captain Munnerlyn and Josh Robinson all playing 16 games. Behind them on the depth chart were veteran punt returner Marcus Sherels and 2014 seventh-round pick Jabari Price.
That is why signing Newman is worth a shot, especially given his track record with the head coach.
The NFL this afternoon released the draft order for next month’s NFL draft, so we now know when the Vikings will make their — as of right now — seven total selections.
The Vikings have no sixth-round pick and two seventh-rounders after sending quarterback Matt Cassel to the Bills and acquiring receiver Mike Wallace from the Dolphins in two separate trades.
They sent their original fifth-round pick to the Dolphins in the Wallace deal and kept the fifth-round pick, which originally belonged to the Buccaneers, they received in the Cassel trade. That selection is 12 spots before their original pick, so they kept the better of the two fifth-rounders.
Anyway, here are the seven 2015 draft picks that the Vikings currently have to work with:
— 11th overall (first round)
— 45th overall (second round)
— 76th overall (third round)
— 110th overall (fourth round)
— 137th overall (fifth round)
— 228th overall (seventh round)
— 232nd overall (seventh round)