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Updated: March 13th, 2014 5:50pm
Did the Vikings have Antoine Winfield in mind when signing Munnerlyn?

Did the Vikings have Antoine Winfield in mind when signing Munnerlyn?

by Phil Mackey
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Credit to Rick Spielman and the rest of the Vikings' front office for being aggressive in trying to fix one of the worst defenses in franchise history. 

Linval Joseph will help shore up the defensive line, along with newly re-signed defensive end Everson Griffen. And cornerback Captain Munnerlyn -- who reportedly signed a three-year deal at Winter Park on Thursday -- will help provide credibility to a defensive backfield that was a giant, collective sieve in 2013.

People might look at Munnerlyn's numbers and think, "Where are all the interceptions?" Munnerlyn has picked off only seven passes in five NFL seasons, but that doesn't tell the whole story. 

According to Pro Football Focus, Munnerlyn was among the NFL's best tackling cornerbacks last season, ranking sixth in "tackling efficiency." Munnerlyn missed only three tackles all season, and he tallied a cornerback-leading 24 tackles for no gain or loss on pass plays alone. 

Remember the last 5'9" Vikings cornerback known more for his tackling than his interception prowess? 

Antoine Winfield.

Of course, if Munnerlyn turns out to be even 75% of the player Winfield was, the Vikings are in business.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd