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Vikings sign DE Mitchell and CB Gordon, tender two other players

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings signed defensive end Jayme Mitchell to a two-year contract and also re-signed defensive back Charles Gordon on Thursday.

Both players suffered major leg injuries last season.

Age: 29

Height: 6-6  Weight: 285

College: Mississippi

Experience: 3 seasons

Mitchell missed the entire year because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He had three sacks in 2006 and one in 2007, but he was in line for an increase in playing time last season after Kenechi Udeze was diagnosed with leukemia. However, Mitchell was injured during the first preseason game and spent the entire season on injured reserve.

Mitchell says his rehabiliation is going well, and he hopes to participate in several minicamps before training camp begins at the end of July.

Gordon, who was showing promise as a nickel cornerback and return man, had a gruesome left ankle injury on a punt return against the Green Bay Packers in November.

The Vikings also tendered restricted free agents Fred Evans and Naufahu Tahi. By making qualifying offers, the team reserves the right to match an offer sheet either player signs with another team.

Evans was a regular on the defensive line. He started the final two games of the regular season and the playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in place of the injured Pat Williams.

Retaining Evans also would help the Vikings should Williams lose his court battle with the NFL over a positive test for a banned diuretic. If Williams doesn't win the case, he will be suspended for the first four games of next season.

Tahi beat out Thomas Tapeh for the starting fullback job early in the regular season.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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