Visit to McCarthy's Hometown...........Kenny Mayne

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Vikings sign Ferguson

Robert Ferguson ended up in a place with multiple ex-Green Bay Packers. It just wasn't Houston, like most folks expected.

Instead, the veteran wide receiver signed Tuesday with the Minnesota Vikings, joining former teammates Ryan Longwell and Darren Sharper in getting a chance to play against his former employer twice a year in the NFC North.

"That's definitely icing on the cake," Ferguson said. The actual cake is the role Ferguson could play for the Vikings, whose wide receiver corps are, to put it politely, inexperienced.

A less polite description? Bad.

The Houston Texans, with ex-Packers coach Mike Sherman as their offensive coordinator and a host of Sherman-picked ex-Packers on the roster, were thought to be the frontrunners for Ferguson, who is a Houston native and makes his offseason home there.

"Obviously once I found out I was released from Green Bay, that was the number one team that came into mind," Ferguson said. "But things changed dramatically once I visited here and got to talk with the coaches and talk with the teammates here."

A disappointment in Green Bay as a 2001 second-round pick, Ferguson joins Minnesota's 12-receiver group as the wideout with the most NFL experience (six years), most games played (60), most starts (26), most receptions (116), most yards (1,577) and most touchdowns (12). Bobby Wade currently is the Vikings' No. 1 receiver, while drop-prone Troy Williamson is No. 2 and rookie second-round pick Sidney Rice is the No. 3 receiver.

By the Vikings' Sept. 9 opener against Atlanta, Ferguson, who according to an NFL source signed a one-year, $700,000 deal that includes incentives that could boost the contract's value to $1.3 million, could work his way into the starting lineup.

But don't discount the revenge factor. "He has the same feeling I did when you leave Green Bay," Sharper said. "You want to play those guys twice a year."

Courtesy of Jason Wilde from today's Wisconsin State Journal:

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