Today, the Minnesota Vikings signed veteran safety Chris Crocker to the team. The fact that a veteran defensive back is brought in this late in camp is not a good sign for many of the younger safeties on the roster. If you’re not totally familiar with Chris Crocker, here are five things you should know about him.
- Crocker is entering his 12th NFL season. That’s right, He’s currently 34 years old. He’s played for 4 different teams over the course of his 12 seasons, beginning with the Cleveland Browns and ending up currently being with the Minnesota Vikings to enter a jumbled competition at safety.
Head Coach Mike Zimmer is very familiar with Chris Crocker. The team that he was with before signing with Minnesota was the Cincinnati Bengals. Since 2008, the defensive coordinator for the Bengals was current Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer. Interestingly enough, Crocker also joined the Bengals from the Miami Dolphins in 2008.
- He is not the “Leave Britney Alone!” guy. If you can remember the viral video of a young man crying in a desperate plea to get people to lay off jokes about Britney Spears, then you might know what I’m talking about. For the longest time, I made this joke when he was a member of the Bengals and I may have to take it easier on that in the future now.
- Chris Crocker has one less career interception than the rest of the Vikings safeties combined. One thing that can’t be denied is that Crocker knows how to locate the football on the field. His awareness has netted him 15 career interceptions, which is one less than the 16 total from the rest of the experienced safeties. (Kurt Coleman-7, Harrison Smith-5, Jamarca Sanford-2, Mistral Raymond-1, Andrew Sendejo-1)
- He can play either nickel corner or safety. Another reason that Vikings GM Rick Spielman most likely picked up Chris Crocker out of free agency is that he’s versatile. Any time a player can play more than one position well, that is a huge benefit to a team that will need to maximize their efficiency when it comes to roster spots.
This could be an under-the-radar signing that really pays off for the Vikings. A guy that is familiar with Mike Zimmer’s schemes and can play nickel corner or safety is a real value. Plus, he brings a lot of experience to a young group of players in need of guidance and leadership.