Here’s an interesting move: Today it was reported that the Vikings will sign former Gophers DE Stylez G. White to a one-year deal. The contract can’t be worth much as the Vikings are about forty cents under the salary cap, nevertheless Stylez seems happy about joining the Vikes as evidenced by this enthusiastic tweet.
And what sort of player are the Vikings getting in Mr. White? One who has amassed 24 career sacks since being taken in the 7th round by the Houston Texans in 2002. To say White has bounced around since being drafted would be an understatement. Here’s every team he’s played for since then including one Arena League squad:
2002 Tampa Bay
2002 Atlanta Falcons
2003 Tennessee Titans
2003 New Orleans Saints
2003-2004 Washington Redskins
2005 Chicago Bears
2006-2007 Orlando Predators
2007-2010 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The bulk of White’s NFL time was spent on practice squads and off-season rosters…until 2007 when he finally caught on with Tampa. His best season was 2007 when he notched 8 sacks. In 2010 he played 16 games, putting up 4.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. The Buccaneers of course are renowned for their use of the Tampa-2, a variation of the same defense the Vikings play under Leslie Frazier and Fred Pagac, so you can see why White would be considered a good fit in Minnesota.
The next question we must ask is, what does the White signing mean for Brian Robison, who earlier this off-season was given a fairly lucrative 3-year contract and has been penciled in as the starter at left defensive end ever since? I don’t think this necessarily means Robison is in danger of losing his starting job, but clearly the Vikings want to see more from him and their other defensive ends. Everson Griffen and Adrian Awasom are also in the mix at LDE, and both has frankly shown more this preseason than Robison.
If someone other than Robison ends up starting at LDE, the Vikings will have more than a little egg on their face for giving him that contract. And Ray Edwards will probably laugh his ass off.