Vikings sign CFL's hardest hitter, linebacker Solomon Elimimian
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MOBILE, Ala. -- The Minnesota Vikings once again are looking north for competition on their roster.
An NFL source said on Wednesday night the Vikings have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with Solomon Elimimian, a Nigerian-born linebacker who was named the Canadian Football League's hardest hitter in a TSN poll of players last year.
Elimimian, 25, went undrafted in 2009 out of Hawaii, where he finished his career with a school-record 434 tackles. He spent part of training camp that summer with the Buffalo Bills, then signed in May 2010 with the CFL's BC Lions.
He had 77 tackles, five sacks and 11 special-teams tackles that season on the way to rookie of the year honors. This past season, Elimimian (6-foot, 227 pounds) had 98 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions, earning an All-Star nod and helping the Lions win the Grey Cup.
The St. Louis Rams and Carolina Panthers also made offers to Elimimian, who isn't believed to have received a bonus -- no surprise, since the Vikings' signing of former CFL receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux to a deal with a $75,000 bonus last summer left them in a bad spot with respect to the rookie spending pool.
Arceneaux spent most of last season on the practice squad but finished on the 53-man roster. The Vikings signed another CFL veteran, linebacker Kenny Onatolu, for a $5,000 bonus in December 2008 and he has played the past three seasons on special teams.
The Vikings need to solidify their depth at linebacker. Starters E.J. Henderson and Erin Henderson both can become unrestricted free agents in March, plus Onatolu and fellow backup Xavier Adibi are unsigned as well.