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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings have been looking for a tough, play-making defensive back to cover slot receivers ever since they parted ways with beloved veteran Antoine Winfield before last season. Captain Munnerlyn is ready to fill those shoes. The Vikings agreed to terms on a three-year deal with the free agent cornerback on Thursday, continuing the teams aggressive pursuit of defensive help in free agency. Munnerlyn played the first five seasons of his career for the Carolina Panthers, where he returned five of his seven interceptions for touchdowns. "We have a new coaching staff in Minnesota and Im excited to get to work with these guys," Munnerlyn told The Associated Press. After signing a one-year, $1.1 million deal with the Panthers last year, Munnerlyn posted career highs with 74 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks. He also returned both of his interceptions for touchdowns and parlayed that into a deal that could be worth as much as $15 million with the Vikings. Munnerlyn, who will turn 26 next month, has scored four defensive TDs in the last two years. He was a seventh-round draft choice after leaving South Carolina after his junior season, and the 5-foot-8, 165-pound Munnerlyn has been proving that he belongs ever since. "Everybody looks at my size and says, Oh man, he cant play. Hes too short to play outside corner, or hes too short to do this," Munnerlyn said in a conference call later Thursday. "Thats the biggest key with me, man. I was just trying to go out there and prove I can be an every-down corner, that I can make plays and bring toughness to a team." Winfield knows a thing or two about that. The diminutive cornerback spent nine seasons with the Vikings, establishing himself as one of the hardest-hitting defensive backs in the league. Munnerlyn said early in his career his coaches showed him game tape of Winfield. "I kind of stole some of his game and brought it to my game," Munnerlyn said. "I dont hit as hard as he does. He can really bring it when he tackles. But I try to go out there and make the tackles and make plays just like him." The Vikings desperately needed another veteran cornerback to add to a young, thin defensive backfield. After cutting Winfield last summer, the Vikings moved Josh Robinson from outside to the slot cornerback. Robinson struggled mightily in the role and former second-round draft choice Chris Cook proved unreliable and unremarkable on the outside. Cook is a free agent. Munnerlyn said Vikings coaches plan to start him on the outside opposite promising youngster Xavier Rhodes, then move him inside in nickel packages on passing downs. He was a part of the second-ranked defence in the league last season under Ron Rivera. He said he saw similarities to the system new Vikings coach Mike Zimmer will employ in Minnesota. "Hes a gritty, tough player and he can play all over the place -- cornerback, nickel or inside," Saints quarterback Drew Brees said last season. "Hes good in pressure and you can tell hes a headsy, smart player. Anytime you are playing against those guys its kind of like the Ronde Barbers of the world where you know there is a level of intelligence. You want to know where he is on the field." The Vikings wanted to do a longer-term deal with Munnerlyn, but Munnerlyn pressed for a three-year contract to give him one more shot at a big payday. "To get another contract before Im 30, that was the key," Munnerlyn said. "Just to go out here for three years and see if I can win them over a little bit more, get an extension after year two or something. Just try to go out here and make plays and win games." Munnerlyn is the latest big move in a series of them to kick off free agency for the Vikings. They re-signed defensive end Everson Griffen with $20 million in guaranteed money and signed defensive tackle Linval Joseph away from the New York Giants with a five-year deal that could be worth $31.5 million. They also made two smaller deals on Thursday, bringing back reserve defensive tackle Fred Evans and signing former Chargers cornerback Derek Cox to one-year deals. All the moves are aimed at bolstering a defence that was 31st in the league last year. "Im sure with these signings and with these people they (brought) in well ranked in the top 10," Munnerlyn said. Nike Air Max Plus Wholesale . He left in the 4th inning of Saturdays game against the Tigers after experiencing tightness. Reyes and the team still hope that he will be ready for Opening Day in Tampa Bay in one week. Air Max Plus For Sale .A. Dickey earned an American League Gold Glove on Tuesday to become the first Toronto Blue Jays pitcher to win the award. .S. military base for UFC: Fight for the Troops 3. This fight card, which takes place in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, has had a number of changes, including headliner Lyoto Machida replaced by fellow Brazilian Rafael Natal. Air Max Plus Clearance . He had even more fun Friday. Coming off a sensational rookie season, Spieth opened the new year by never coming close to bogey and making a 12-foot birdie putt on the last hole for a 7-under 66. Cheap Air Max Plus .Gasol had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and the Bulls beat the winless Orlando Magic 98-90 on Tuesday night.Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with 21 points and Taj Gibson added 16 for Chicago, which finally pulled away in the final minutes of a game that was tied after three quarters.President Vladimir Putin says Russia is committed to wiping out doping in a last-ditch attempt to avoid a possible blanket ban from the Olympics over state-sponsored cheating. The official position of the Russian authorities - the government, the president and all of us - is that in sport there is not and can be no place for doping, Putin told government ministers.To do this, it is obligatory to cooperate as closely as possible with the disciplinary committee of the International Olympic Committee, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the international sports federations, he said. Putin also ordered Russias Olympic committee to establish an anti-doping commission to include both Russian and international specialists in an attempt to clean up the countrys image.The IOCs executive board is to hold a conference call on Sunday to discuss barring Russia from the Games over the doping revelations.The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Thursday rejected an appeal by Russias track and field team against a suspension from Rio in a decision seen as a key indicator as the IOC debates whether to kick out the entire Russian team.But a spokesman for the Kremlin insists a number of clean athletes would be hit by the blanket suspension and has urged the IOC to think again.All sportsmen who have not been convicted or are not under suspicion of doping should have the right to compete and that is the decision we are counting on, said Dmitry Peskov.The IOC is facing international pressure to act tough on Russia and ban the entire team over bombshell revelations of a state-run doping system. The Court of Arbitration for Sport has rejected the appeal from Russia for the suspension given to them by the IAAF Fourteen national anti-doping agencies including the United States, Canada and Germany, sent a joint letter to IOC president Thomas Bach on Thursday urging him to ban Russia from Rio.ddddddddddddOfficials in Moscow have slammed the decision by CAS to reject its appeal against a ban from the world athletics body IAAF, calling it part of a broader political campaign by the West against Russia.The suspension of the track and field team already means that star athletes like pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva and hurdler Sergey Shubenkov will not be in Rio. 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