Vikings sign CFL receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux for 3 years with bonus
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The Minnesota Vikings continue to augment their offseason roster through other professional leagues -- and their latest addition could prove to be significant.
Receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux, who spent the past two seasons with the Canadian Football League's B.C. Lions, wrote on Twitter he has agreed to a contract with the Vikings.
Arceneaux's agent, Bardia Ghahremani, confirmed on Saturday afternoon his client signed a three-year deal that included a signing bonus and could be worth a little more than $1.8 million with incentives. Reports from Canada indicated the bonus was worth $75,000 -- a substantial sum on par with a sixth-round NFL draft pick.
The 6-foot-2, 211-pound Alcorn State product was among the CFL's leading receivers in both seasons, totalling 63 catches for 858 yards and seven touchdowns in 2009 and 67-1,114-5 in 2010. That's a big jump in production for Arceneaux, 23, who finished his college career at Donald Driver's alma mater with a total of 99 catches for 1,618 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks and New York Jets also showed interest, according to published reports.
Like all street free agents, Arceneaux has an uphill battle to make the roster, although there's little question the Vikings need help at the position. Sidney Rice could become a free agent, Bernard Berrian is coming off another bad season, and Greg Lewis and Hank Baskett seem unlikely to return.
The Vikings have found help in Canada before. Linebacker Kenny Onatolu, one of their core special teamers, played two seasons with the Edmonton Eskimos before signing with the Vikings in December 2008. He received a $5,000 bonus.
A group of CFL players that included receivers Andy Fantuz and S.J. Green worked out for the Vikings on Dec. 18. To date, none of them have signed. End Adrian Awasom, who played in the United Football League, recently agreed to terms.
The signing will put the Vikings' roster at 48 players. The offseason limit is 80. Twenty-two players who finished 2010 on the 53-man roster or injured reserve are unsigned.
• Vikings DT Kevin Williams won't play in the Pro Bowl after all. Added as an injury replacement for Lions DT Ndamukung Suh, Williams has opted out because his wife is expecting a baby. Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett will take his place.
• Former Vikings OL coach Pat Morris, fired earlier this month, was hired to the same position by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.