- Ben Goessling, ESPN Minnesota Vikings reporter
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The NFL held its inaugural veterans combine before the owners meetings in Phoenix last month, giving players who hadn't found a team for this season a chance to show what they could do. A pair of the players who worked out for teams in Phoenix will get a chance to make the Minnesota Vikings' roster.
The agents for quarterback Mike Kafka and defensive end Caesar Rayford tweeted on Wednesday afternoon that their clients had signed with the Vikings. And while both players are long shots to make the team, they likely were helped by a chance to showcase their skills in a live setting last month.
Kafka, who signed a one-year deal for the league minimum, was Tampa Bay's third quarterback last season behind Mike Glennon and Josh McCown. His last passes in a NFL game came in 2011, when he played in four games for the Philadelphia Eagles. He completed 11 of his 16 throws for 107 yards and was intercepted twice.
Rayford comes to the Vikings after spending last season in the CFL and the Arena League. He played in seven games in 2013 with the Dallas Cowboys after an impressive preseason. At 6-foot-7, the 29-year-old is the kind of lanky defensive end coach Mike Zimmer had in Cincinnati, and, as the Vikings demonstrated with Tom Johnson last season, they can get solid contributions from fringe players in their defensive line group.
Each player will have to fight for a chance to make the team in training camp, but the Vikings obviously saw enough from both to give them a longer look this summer.
Kafka was a backup for Tampa Bay last season and Rayford played in the CFL.