Vikings bring in Lowe to add depth to safety

Originally Published: September 6, 2004
Associated Press

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Vikings addressed their need for a backup safety Monday by claiming Omare Lowe off waivers from the New York Jets.

But Lowe, released by the Jets on Sunday, isn't the seasoned veteran Minnesota hoped to acquire after placing Tyrone Carter on injured reserve with a sprained knee.

Lowe, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound defensive back, has bounced among three teams in two NFL seasons, appearing in only three games. He has one career tackle.

Minnesota attempted to deal defensive end Nick Rogers for an experienced safety, but released the pass-rushing specialist Sunday after failing to consummate a trade.

With few other options, the coaching staff hopes Lowe can push Willie Offord for the top backup spot at both safety positions.

"(Lowe) is smart. He hits," said Vikings coach Mike Tice, who first met Lowe when he was a quarterback at Tahoma (Wash.) High School. "We wanted to bring in a veteran to fill that other spot to see if we can create some competition."

Offord, a third-round draft pick in 2002, is the Vikings' special teams captain, but needs improvement as a defensive player.

Lowe also has struggled to find a niche. He was released by Miami in the final round of cuts a year ago, then spent three weeks on Tennessee's practice squad before signing with the Jets.

Monday, Lowe became the latest link in Vikings defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell's player pipeline.

Cottrell, who coached Lowe and Carter in New York last season, also helped bring cornerback Antoine Winfield, linebacker Keith Newman and defensive tackle Steve Martin to Minnesota.

The Vikings released sixth-round draft pick Deandre' Eiland to make room for Lowe on the 53-man roster. Eiland, the first Vikings draft choice since 2002 to be released before the regular season, will be signed to the practice squad if he clears waivers.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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