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Vikings get more O-line help, land 1-year deal with Andre Smith

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Andre Smith appears to be coming to the Vikings.

The former Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle tweeted this Thursday morning:

The Vikings have not confirmed the signing online, but NFL Network's Ian Rapoport says he has contract details.

Smith – 6-foot-4 and 335 pounds – is the second big offensive line addition for the Vikings this offseason. The team added guard Alex Boone, formerly of the 49ers, in the opening days of free agency.

Smith visited Minnesota over the weekend, but left the Vikings Monday without a contract to visit the Arizona Cardinals.

Despite respectable rush-protection numbers this past season (league 10th overall, according to Football Outsiders), the Vikings' offensive line ranked just 29th in terms of pass protection in 2015, allowing Bridgewater to be sacked 45 time (and that’s after giving up 51 sacks the season before).

Offensive tackle Phil Loadholt and center John Sullivan, both starters who missed most of last season with injuries, are also expected to be back in the mix and competing for a starting job this year.

Smiths' background, connection with Zimmer

Smith and Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer have a connection.

Smith was drafted by the Bengals with the No. 6 overall pick in 2009, where Zimmer was a defensive coordinator. He has played his entire career with Cincinnati and has been the starting right tackle for the last five years.

The Vikings have been looking to upgrade the offensive line after the group struggled last season during Minnesota’s 11-5 season, which was good enough to win the NFC North.

During the offseason the Vikings have hired Tony Sparano to serve as the team’s offensive line coach. They also signed free agent guard Alex Boone to a four-year, $26 million deal last week.

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