The Vikings acquired two veterans in free agency with previous ties to head coach Mike Zimmer. While one, safety Taylor Mays, didn’t work out, cornerback Terence Newman has fared well so far.
Mays was cut by the team last week and has since signed with the Lions. Meanwhile, Newman received reps with the first team during OTAs and minicamp while Captain Munnerlyn and Josh Robinson recovered from injuries.
“He looks good,” Zimmer said. “He’s very, very smart. He’s helping the guys with a lot of the different concepts and talking about the intricate part of the game, and yes, he looks good.”
Newman, 36, was the fifth overall pick by the Cowboys in 2003 and spent his first four seasons in the NFL with Zimmer as his defensive coordinator. Newman and Zimmer reunited in 2012 with the Bengals for two seasons before Zimmer took over for the Vikings last year. Newman, entering his 13th season, spent three seasons with the Bengals before joining the Vikings in the offseason.
“What he adds to the room as far as confidence as far as calmness, as far as guys being able to reach out to his for information, those type of deals, he’s a true pro,” defensive coordinator George Edwards said. “The first time he gets something. If he doesn’t get it then you won’t worry about it. He won’t make the same mistake again, so from that aspect of it, his work ethic and the younger guys seeing that work ethic and seeing how he comes out here and applies things from the classroom to the field is an advantage to us.”
The Vikings are deep at cornerback heading into training camp. Along with Newman’s presence, the team also drafted Trae Waynes with the 11th overall pick. There will be stiff competition at the position as the Vikings look for a starting corner to pair up with Xavier Rhodes between Newman, Munnerlyn, Waynes and Robinson. That doesn’t even include Marcus Sherels, who always gets counted out this time of the year but works his way onto the 53-man roster, and second-year cornerback Jabari Price.