Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Captain Munnerlyn to visit Vikings
By Ben Goessling
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings will continue their attempt to bolster their defense through free agency on Wednesday and Thursday, bringing in former Carolina Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn for a visit, according to an NFL source.
Munnerlyn would fill one of the Vikings' most glaring needs from last season: slot cornerback. The team cut veteran Antoine Winfield last March, gambling on Josh Robinson's ability to move from the outside to the slot position. The Vikings tried to bring Winfield back on a reduced contract, and when Robinson struggled to pick up the position last September, the team nearly signed Winfield out of retirement before their Sept. 29 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in London. Now, they will have a shot to get a younger fit at the position.
The 25-year-old Munnerlyn has started the past three seasons for the Panthers, intercepting two passes -- and returning both interceptions for touchdowns -- each of the past two seasons. He was a key cog on a Panthers team that reached the division playoffs last season, and allowed an 81.7 passer rating when in slot coverage last season, according to Pro Football Focus. Robinson, on the other hand, allowed a 127.2 passer rating.
The Vikings will also bring former Chicago Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton in for a visit on Thursday, and hosted former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain on Monday. They signed New York Giants defensive tackle Linval Joseph to a five-year, $31.5 million deal shortly after the start of free agency on Tuesday.