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Vikings add veteran CB Sheppard with one-year, $2 million deal

The Minnesota Vikings signed cornerback Lito Sheppard to a one-year, $2 million contract, a league source told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora on Wednesday, shoring up their secondary while Cedric Griffin recovers from surgery on his left knee.

Sheppard, a nine-year NFL veteran and two-time Pro Bowl pick, joins a group of Vikings cornerbacks that includes starters Griffin and Antoine Winfield and backups Benny Sapp and Asher Allen. Griffin was hurt during the NFC Championship Game three months ago and might not be ready for the start of the 2010 season.

Sheppard spent seven seasons in Philadelphia, the first four while Vikings coach Brad Childress was the Eagles' offensive coordinator. Drafted in the first round by the Eagles in 2002, Sheppard had a career-high six interceptions in 2006. He has gone to the playoffs in six of his eight seasons.

"Lito is a great guy who fits what we are looking for," Childress said. "He's the type of person and player we value at the cornerback position."

Sheppard was released by the New York Jets last month after one disappointing, injury-impacted season with the team. The Jets acquired Sheppard from the Eagles in a trade, but he started just nine games and was benched for the AFC Championship Game, which New York lost.

Sheppard was bothered by quadriceps injuries and finished with 31 tackles, one interception and eight passes defended in 11 regular-season games.

Still, Sheppard has made big plays. He has returned three of his 19 career interceptions for touchdowns and was the first player in NFL history with two such returns of more than 100 yards.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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