Vikes woo Berrian, add fullback Tapeh and safety Williams

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings had an active first day in free agency on Friday, agreeing to terms on contracts with fullback Thomas Tapeh and safety Madieu Williams and hosting wide receiver Bernard Berrian for an official visit.

Tapeh should replace Pro Bowl pick Tony Richardson, who became a free agent at age 36.

Tapeh played locally at St. Paul Johnson High School and the University of Minnesota before four seasons in Philadelphia, two of those with current Vikings coach Brad Childress. After injury problems earlier in his career, Tapeh played in all 32 regular-season games over the past two years with the Eagles.

Williams agreed to the parameters of a six-year deal worth $33 million, including slightly less than $13 million in guaranteed money. He spent four seasons with Cincinnati and will step in for Dwight Smith, who was let go last week.

Williams had two sacks, two interceptions and one forced fumble in 13 games last year for the Bengals, who drafted him in the second round out of Maryland in 2004.

His agent, Ken Zuckerman, said Williams wanted to choose a club first instead of going on the "banquet circuit" and playing teams off each other in negotiations.

"You don't want to hold anyone up," Zuckerman said. "It just makes for better business in the future."

Berrian would be a boost for a position of need if the Vikings are able to sign him. He had 71 catches for 951 yards and five touchdowns for division rival Chicago last season, his fourth in the NFL.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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