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Vikings sign Chris Crocker to add experience in secondary

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Vikings coach Mike Zimmer might be looking to someone he's familiar with to fill the team's void at safety alongside Harrison Smith.

Monday afternoon, the Vikings announced they have signed veteran free agent safety Chris Crocker.

Crocker spent the last six seasons with Zimmer in Cincinnati, prior to that he also played under Zimmer in Atlanta in 2007.

He was in Mankato on Monday, working out with the team.

Last season in 12 games Crocker, 34, had 37 tackles, 1.5 sacks, seven passes defensed and two interceptions. In his 12-year NFL career, he has played in 151 career games. He has recorded 554 tackles, 14.5 sacks, 60 passes defended and 15 interceptions.

Crocker said Zimmer was the reason he chose Minnesota.

"At this point in my career, I really didn't want to go anywhere else, I wasn't starting over," Crocker told reporters in Mankato. "He has meant a lot to my career."

The announcement comes on the same day that Andrew Sendejo was removed from the Physically unable to Perform list.

Sendejo underwent surgery in May and has missed spring drills, and is looking for a chance to impress Zimmer.

The Star Tribune hinted the Vikings could be looking at the waiver wire. The defense struggled last season, it ranked last in the league in points and was near the bottom in every other passing defense statistic.

Crocker should be able to help. According to Pro Football Talk, he has played both safety and nickel corner over the years and could bring the Vikings' secondary some experience and versatility.

Crocker was drafted by Cleveland in the third round of the 2003 draft. In addition to the Falcons and Cincinnati, Crocker also had a stint in Miami.

To make room for Crocker the Vikings released defensive end Rakim Cox.

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