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- March 9, 2010 - 8:07 PM
The agent for cornerback Benny Sapp said Tuesday that while he had discussions with other teams his client wanted to remain in Minnesota.
"Benny is happy to have this thing done as am I," Andy Simms said. "I think the best word to describe it is you have to look at other opportunities and see what your options are. There were a couple of other teams involved but ultimately for Benny he decided he wanted to stay with the Vikings. That did make the decision easy. Once he decided that we were able to hammer out a deal. At the end of the day, he loves Minnesota and saw no reason to leave a good situation."
Simms declined to name the teams that showed interest in Sapp but did say the veteran took no visits.
Simms also would not reveal the financial details of Sapp's contract but a person with knowledge of the situation said it was a two-year, $4.2 million deal with $1.5 million in guarantees. That's a nice bump for Sapp, who played the past two seasons on one-year contracts and made about $800,000 each year.
"It wasn't a necessity [that it be a two-year deal] but it makes every party feel good," Simms said. "It's a sense of security for Benny and the Vikings. Both parties realized something could be done on a longer-term situation. It worked out great."
Sapp has emerged as a valuable member of the Vikings' defensive backfield. He became the primary nickel back two seasons ago after Charles Gordon suffered an injury and last season started nine games, including two in the playoffs. Sapp played a big role in helping to replace Antoine Winfield when the veteran left corner was lost for six games because of a broken foot.
"I think what we all agreed on was Benny is emerging as one of the top nickel corners in the NFL and he's versatile," Simms said. "He can play inside and outside and you know what you're getting with Benny. He plays hard and is respected around the league. Other teams recognize what he does and the Vikings know what he does so it's a great opportunity for him to know he's going to have at least that [nickel] role."
Sapp could end up playing far more than the nickel role in 2010, depending on how Cedric Griffin recovers from surgery to repair the ACL he tore in the NFC title game in New Orleans. Odds seem good Griffin will begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list, meaning that the look for the Vikings when they start camp could be Winfield at left corner, Sapp at right corner and Asher Allen in the nickel.
Remember, Winfield also is coming back from the foot injury and it remains to be seen if he will arrive in Mankato at 100 percent.