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Erin Henderson to return to Vikings on 1-year deal

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Despite not having the smoothest of negotiations, Erin Henderson is returning to the Minnesota Vikings.

The 25-year-old linebacker agreed to terms on a one-year deal to stay with the team that signed him as a rookie free agent in 2008, his sports agency tweeted on Friday.

Henderson was one of the few standouts for the Vikings during a trying 3-13 season last year. In his first chance as a regular starter, he emerged as one of the team's most versatile defenders, playing both in the base 4-3 and in the nickel packages. Playing alongside his brother E.J., he had 91 tackles and two forced fumbles in 15 games.

The Vikings wanted all along to bring Erin Henderson back, but waited for the free agent market to settle down before completing the deal. The delay appeared to irk Henderson, who tweeted his frustrations earlier this week.

"Whats crazy is I'm not even asking for big money," Henderson tweeted. "All I want is respectable money for what I'm asked to do."

Terms of the deal were not immediately available, but it appears that he got what he wanted. Henderson had said that he was willing to take a hometown discount to stay with the Vikings and around his young son. The one-year deal offers Henderson the freedom to cash in on a bigger contract next season if his improvement continues.

Bringing Erin Henderson back means the Vikings have shored up two-thirds of their starting linebacker group. Outside linebacker Chad Greenway signed an extension last season to keep him in Minnesota for the long term.

That leaves E.J. in the middle as the only free agent hanging out there. He has been slowed over the past few seasons by injuries and is not expected to be back with the Vikings.

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