As the Vikings prepare to immerse themselves in the final stages of draft planning, they still managed to add another piece to their puzzle via free agency Wednesday, agreeing to a one-year deal with veteran cornerback Chris Carr.
Carr, who will turn 29 this month, has played seven NFL season and was released by Baltimore last month after a three-year stay there. He also had stops with the Raiders (2005-07) and Titans (2008).
Carr will now come to the Twin Cities to compete for a job and could provide at least a small boost to a secondary in need of major reinforcement.
Last season, during a 3-13 disaster, the Vikings were atrocious defending the pass. Opposing quarterbacks posted a rating of 107.9, completing 68.2 percent of their passes for 4,019 yards with 34 touchdowns and only eight interceptions.
But the Vikings believe they can correct their secondary flaws quickly. Cornerback Chris Cook, who missed the final 10 games of 2011 after being charged with felony domestic assault, has been cleared to return to action after his acquittal last month. Antoine Winfield, who was sidelined for 11 games last season, first because of a shoulder injury and then a broken collarbone, should also be back at full strength by the start of organized team activities next month.
Plus, last week the Vikings signed former Bears cornerback Zack Bowman to a one-year deal. Carr, who is 5-10 and 182 pounds, will figure into the cornerback competition when training camp opens this summer.
He started all 16 games for the Ravens in 2010 but was limited by injury last season and fell behind Jimmy Smith on the depth chart. Now he'll get a new start with the Vikings.
Preseason schedule announced
The Vikings' first reunion with Randy Moss is on the itinerary. The NFL released its preseason schedule Wednesday with the Vikings' opener coming at Candlestick Park against the 49ers, who signed Moss last month.
The Moss-Vikings meeting will be scheduled in the Aug. 9-12 window.
The Vikings will follow with home games against Buffalo and San Diego before closing the preseason at Houston.