EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) -Free-agent running back and kickoff returner Maurice Hicks signed a three-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday.
The Vikings had an opening for a No. 3 back, behind Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor, after Mewelde Moore joined the Pittsburgh Steelers.
More importantly, Hicks comes with extensive special teams experience - both covering kicks and returning kickoffs. With San Francisco last season, he averaged 23.8 yards per kickoff return. Over the past three years, the 49ers credited him with 50 special teams tackles.
``Coming into this league, to stay in this league, one of the things they tell you when you're not a big-time draft pick is you've got to be good on special teams,'' Hicks said.
The 29-year-old Hicks has started five games at running back in the NFL and posted a pair of 100-yard games. He has 869 career yards rushing, with six touchdowns and an average of 4.2 yards per carry.

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