Vikings Will Sign Former Gophers Linebacker Simoni Lawrence


Jul 26, 2013; Mankato, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings helmet sits in the grass during training camp at Minnesota State University. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings are set to pick up another CFL player, and this is someone Minnesota fans are familiar with. TSN’s Matthew Scianitti tweeted that former Gophers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats linebacker Simoni Lawrence will sign on with the Vikings.

Lawrence joined the Gophers as a JUCO transfer in 2008, becoming defensive captain in 2009. He entered the draft in 2010 but went unselected, later signing as a UDFA with the St. Louis Rams.

That’s when the bouncing around started. Lawrence was cut by the Rams, then got picked up by the Eagles. At the same time, he was also drafted by the Hartford Colonials of the UFL. The Eagles kept him on until final cuts, after which he joined the Colonials.

He played 8 games of the 2010 UFL season before joining the Bears’ practice squad. In late 2010, he was signed to a futures deal by the Buccaneers and reported to camp with Tampa Bay in 2011. He was cut by Tampa and went back to the UFL, this time with the Las Vegas franchise.

After his stint with Vegas it was on to Canada. Lawrence played one year for Edmonton, then spent the 2013 season with Hamilton. Got all that? There will be a quiz later.

One final note on Lawrence: There was a piece in City Pages last August detailing the situation between Lawrence and a woman he rear-ended on the interstate. The piece was entited: “Simoni Lawrence, former U of M football captain, screwing over woman he hit on I-94.”

So it’s kind of a negative piece then.

Lawrence becomes the latest in a line of CFL players to be picked up by Minnesota as experiments. Manny Arceneaux and Solomon Elimimian each failed to make a dent in their short stints.

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