Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings sign cornerback Zack Bowman to one-year deal

Posted by: under Quarterbacks, Vikings, Bears, Antoine Winfield, Cedric Griffin Updated: March 26, 2012 - 10:26 AM

The Vikings have finally made an offseason move to bolster their secondary, signing cornerback Zack Bowman to a one-year deal. Bowman, 27, will be entering his fifth NFL season after spending the previous four with the Chicago Bears.

Bowman's best NFL season to date came in 2009 when he made six interceptions. He played in all 16 games and made one start for Chicago last season but was more of a role player, sharing time with Tim Jennings and D.J. Moore opposite Pro Bowler Charles Tillman.

Bowman has good size -- he's 6-foot-1 and 196 pounds -- and has a good blend of athleticism and strength. He's also adept in zone coverage. A move to Minnesota should allow him to compete for playing time immediately in a Vikings secondary that's in desperate need of added depth.

General manager Rick Spielman believes a pass defense that allowed opposing quarterbacks to post a 107.6 rating in 2011 will be much improved with the returns of cornerbacks Antoine Winfield (from injury) and Chris Cook (from legal difficulties). Combined, Winfield and Cook missed 21 games last season. In their absence, Asher Allen received extensive playing time and impressed the coaching staff with his effort and development.

Add Bowman to the mix and the Vikings' cornerback stable, at full strength, should again begin to resemble a real NFL unit, unlike the grouping that ended 2011 held together by chicken wire and bubble gum. The Vikings' cornerback rotation in the 2011 finale against the Bears, remember, consisted of Allen, Cedric Griffin, Benny Sapp, Marcus Sherels and Brandon Burton.

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