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Dwight Smith SIGNS;

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Old 07-25-2006, 09:22 PM   #1
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Dwight Smith SIGNS;

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Old 07-27-2006, 02:00 PM   #2
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July 27

One day after signing a three-year, $6.5 million deal with the Vikings, free safety Dwight Smith admitted he probably could have gotten more money if he had gone elsewhere. But if Smith had taken that route he would have lost an opportunity to be reunited Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin, who was Smith's position coach for four seasons in Tampa Bay.

"We still communicated last year when I wasn't playing for Tampa," said Smith, who was released by New Orleans last week after only one season with the Saints. "I always knew that [Tomlin] was going to be a D-coordinator. I believe he's going to be a head coach in this league."

Smith said he received no assurances from the Vikings that he would start ahead of Tank Williams at the safety spot opposite Darren Sharper. Smith also did not discuss whether the Vikings will utilize his ability to play cornerback by using him in the nickel package.

"We all know I'm always ready to do whatever is needed on my team," Smith said. "We didn't rule out special teams [either]. Never rule out any of that. I love to play football and any opportunity I get to play I'm going to take."

Smith, who turns 28 next month, made 15 starts and had two interceptions in his only season with the Saints. He had signed a five-year, $15 million free-agent deal with New Orleans but did not fit into the Saints' new defensive scheme.

"Of course," it was disappointing, said Smith, who was offered a one-year deal to return to the Bucs. "When you go through what we went through last season [following Hurricane Katrina], you develop a bond with the guys on the team. I was looking forward to turning the whole thing around in the city with the team.

"I felt like I played well above average last season," he said. "If they feel like I couldn't play anymore or whatever it was, that's their opinion. I can't hold any grudges. I'm happy to be with the Vikings, and I'm ready to play football."



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