As the Vikings prepare to immerse themselves in the final stages of NFL Draft planning, they've managed to add another piece to the puzzle via free agency. Cornerback Chris Carr, most recently with the Baltimore Ravens, has agreed to join the team providing another small boost to a pass defense that's in need of reinforcement.
Carr, who will turn 29 on April 30, has played seven NFL seasons to this point. He was released by Baltimore last month after spending three years there. He also had previous stops with the Raiders (2005-07) and Titans (2008).
The Vikings were atrocious defending the pass in 2011. 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 are confident they can turn things around in a hurry. 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 missed 11 games last season, first with a shoulder injury and then with a broken collarbone, should also be back at full strength by the start of Offseason Training Activities next month. And last week the Vikings signed free agent cornerback Zack Bowman as well.
With Asher Allen (nine starts last season) plus Marcus Sherels and Brandon Burton also in the mix, there promises to be plenty of competition at cornerback when training camp begins this summer.
Carr, 5-foot-10 and 182 pounds, has good quickness and instincts. He's also proven solid against the run during his career. He started all 16 games for the Ravens in 2010 but was limited by a hamstring injury last season and fell behind Jimmy Smith on the depth chart.
Carr has agreed to a one-year deal with the Vikings, who suddenly feel a lot better about their cornerback depth than they did when the 2011 season ended. Now it'll be up to General Manager Rick Spielman to find ways to also add help at safety where only three players (Jamarca Sanford, Mistral Raymond and Eric Frampton) remain under contract.