The Vikings have agreed to terms with nose tackle Remi Ayodele on a three-year, $9 million deal, according to an NFL source.
The agreement comes on the same day the Vikings are expected to announce that they have released defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy. Nose tackle Pat Williams also is a free agent and might not return. Kennedy was expected to be his replacement at one time.
Ayodele, 28, has spent three seasons with the Saints and finished last year with 21 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. He started all 16 games for the first time in his career. In 2009, he started 13 of the 15 games in which he played and had 30 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Ayodele, whose brother Akin plays in the NFL, was part of a Saints defense that was 16th against the run last season, giving up 112.3 yards per game. Remi Ayodele, however, was considered to be strong against the run and likely will step into the first- and second-down role (at least) playing alongside Kevin Williams.
The Saints replaced Ayodele by signing Shaun Rogers to a one-year deal in early March before the NFL lockout.
The 6-2, 318-pound Ayodele went undrafted in 2006 and then bounced from New England to Baltimore to Dallas to Atlanta. Ayodele's name should ring a bell with Vikings fans. He was the player who hit quarterback Brett Favre in the upper body during the 2009 NFC title game while Bobby McCray hit Favre low in the third quarter. Favre suffered a sprained ankle on the play and the NFL later admitted a penalty should have been called.
Ayodele also had a key fumble recovery in the Saints' overtime victory over the Vikings. That set up a 5-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees to Reggie Bush that gave New Orleans a 28-21 lead early in the fourth quarter.
The Vikings can not officially sign Ayodele until 5 p.m. on Friday and he can't practice until Aug. 4 when the collective bargaining agreement is expected to be ratified. The Vikings also have agreed to terms with journeyman wide receiver Devin Aromashodu, who had been with the Chicago Bears.
Free-agent addition: The Vikings signed undrafted free-agent running back Alexander Robinson out of Iowa State. The Vikings now have 15 undrafted free agents signed. The move came a day after Kentucky running back Derrick Locke failed his physical with the Vikings. Locke ended up signing with the Philadelphia Eagles.