The Minnesota Vikings signed linebacker and special-teams standout Heath Farwell to a three-year, $7.75 million contract on Friday.
The deal includes $3.25 million guaranteed and keeps one of the team's most productive players on the kick coverage and return units in Minnesota.
Farwell, who originally joined the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2005, missed the 2008 campaign after suffering a season-ending knee injury in the team's preseason opener against the Seattle Seahawks.
"I didn't know where other teams would view me," Farwell said. "I knew the Vikings would be involved because they saw me rehab every day. They saw the hard work I was putting in. They saw my progress.
"I'm excited about it. I guess it just shows the appreciation the Vikings have for what I can do for this team and the hard work."
Farwell clearly was missed last season. The Vikings surrendered an NFL-record seven special-teams touchdowns, including four on punt returns.
Farwell led Minnesota in special teams tackles in 2006 and 2007 and was selected MVP of those units both years by his teammates. He also set a franchise record with seven special-teams tackles on Nov. 25, 2007, against the New York Giants.
"He's got more value to us than just as a special-teams guy, and he fits this scheme very well in what we try to accomplish from a defensive standpoint," said Rick Spielman, the Vikings' vice president for player personnel.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.