Scout.com has learned from a league source that unrestricted free
agent Derrick Pope is in Minnesota all day today and Thursday to visit with the
Minnesota's invitation doesn't come as a huge surprise, as we previously
reported in this
insider's feature on February 29 that the team was among four NFL clubs that
had expressed some early interest in the veteran linebacker. Current Vikings
vice president of player personnel Rick Speilman drafted Pope in the seventh round of the 2004 NFL
Draft out of the University of Alabama while Speilman was selecting players for
the Miami Dolphins.
The inside linebacker had been the primary backup to Zach Thomas but started
nine games in 2007 as injuries took their toll on Thomas. Pope made 57 tackles,
including 38 solo efforts, picked off two passes, defended three passes and recovered a
fumble. During the final four weeks of the season, he averaged just over 7
tackles per game.
The added value that he brings to an NFL team is his special teams prowess.
During his four seasons in Miami, Pope made 27 special teams tackles, putting
him in a first-place tie in that category over that time period.
For more updates and insider information on the Vikings, click
here to visit VikingUpdate.com.
Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features
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