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Updated: February 10th, 2012 10:08am
Vikings have shown interest in cornerback Stanford Routt, agent says

Vikings have shown interest in cornerback Stanford Routt, agent says

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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Free agency doesn't start until March 13, but the Minnesota Vikings might have a chance to address one of their most glaring needs before then.

Stanford Routt's agent told ESPNDallas.com the Vikings are one of four teams that have shown interest in the veteran cornerback, who was released by the Oakland Raiders on Thursday.

Routt, 28, already has visits set up with Buffalo and Tennessee and has drawn interest from Kansas City, Dallas and the Vikings, agent Vann McElroy told the Web site.

A seven-year veteran out of Houston, Routt has played in 110 games, recording 10 interceptions and 50 passes defended. The Raiders gave him a restructured five-year, $54.5 million deal last year, but he was a logical cap casualty for new Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie.

According to ProFootballFocus.com, Routt allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 51.1% of passes into his coverage last season for nine touchdowns and 532 yards, and he took an NFL-high 17 penalties.

The Raiders long have run predominantly man-to-man coverage with their corners, and the Vikings badly need more corners who can survive in man, although they plan to stick with the zone-heavy Tampa-2/Cover-2 scheme under new coordinator Alan Williams.

It stands to reason Routt could have a new home before free agency opens. Released players become street free agents and therefore aren't subject to the March 13 date when veteran player contracts expire.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero
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