Wide receiver Bobby Wade was released by the Vikings on Thursday, a week after agreeing to rework his contract and take a pay cut from $3 million to $1.5 million for this season. Wade also would have then become a free agent at the end of this season.
The Vikings signed wide receiver Greg Lewis to replace Wade. Lewis had been with New England and prior to that was a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Lewis, 29, was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2003 by the Eagles out of Illinois. His best season came in 2005 when he started all 16 games, catching 48 passes for 561 yards and one touchdown. He has not caught more than 25 passes in each of the past three seasons. The Patriots acquired him last March along with a 2010 seventh-round pick in exchange for a fifth-round pick in last April's draft.
Lewis made the Patriots' 53-man roster last weekend but then was released in a surprise move. Lewis, who has 127 catches for 1,699 and seven touchdowns in six seasons, is familiar with the Vikings offense and also with coach Brad Childress. Childress was the Eagles' offensive coordinator during Lewis' time with the team and Lewis' greatest production came with Childress in Philadelphia.
Wade was entering his third season with the Vikings and had led the team in receptions in each of his first two years. Wade's role, however, was expected to be drastically reduced with the addition of first-round pick Percy Harvin. Harvin will take over as the Vikings' primary slot receiver this season.
Wade had 107 regular-season catches in two years with the Vikings, including 53 for 645 yards and two touchdowns. Wade also caught three passes for 24 yards in the Vikings' playoff loss to Philadelphia.
Wade said in a text message this morning that he isn't yet ready to comment on the move. Wade said early in training camp that he was excited about Harvin's arrival.
"That's the nice part about it," Wade said of the Vikings' depth at wide receiver. "Especially with the addition of Percy. It was that one element that we were missing. Guys can do it, but not at the level he can do it. It's the same thing with [Bernard] Bernard. We can put guys in that position, but guys aren't going to be able to excel [like he did]. Same thing with Sidney [Rice] in the red zone. Me, a lot of stuff finding zones, every down blocking. Those type of things. We have a lot of guys that are playing a role in this offense. Everybody has a role and the better we understand that the better we'll play together."