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 MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -Derrick Pope signed a one-year contract Friday with the Vikings, leaving the Miami Dolphins and joining a Minnesota team looking to add depth at linebacker.
Pope is entering his fifth season in the league. He will be the fourth linebacker on the depth chart, behind starters Ben Leber, E.J. Henderson and Chad Greenway.
Pope started a career-high nine games for the Dolphins last season. His role with the Vikings will include plenty of work on special teams.
``That's one of the biggest keys for me is special teams,'' Pope told The Associated Press. ``That's how I've survived in this league, off special teams.''
On Wednesday, Pope's wife gave birth to the couple's first child, a daughter named Dalaney.
``I'm just excited,'' he said.
Pope had 64 tackles and two interceptions for the Dolphins last year. He will help fill the void left by the departure of Dontarrious Thomas, who signed with San Francisco.
He is joining one of the better defenses in the NFL, especially with Pro Bowl tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams playing in front of him.
``Linebackers like myself dream about playing with guys like them, two great defensive linemen right in front of you,'' Pope said.
Pope starred at Alabama and was a seventh-round pick of the Dolphins in 2004, when current Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman was the general manager in Miami.
The Vikings also brought in defensive end James Hall for a visit Friday. They need help at the position, with Kenechi Udeze diagnosed with leukemia and Erasmus James coming off another serious knee injury.
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