Ayodele saw advantages with Vikings

Remi Ayodele (Dave Martin/AP)

Remi Ayodele's contract with the Vikings went official on Friday and he's looking forward to playing in the Vikings defense and next to Kevin Williams.

Remi Ayodele is probably best known to the Vikings as, for lack of a better term, "the high guy."

On the play in the Vikings-Saints NFC Championship Game in January 2010 when Brett Favre got hit in the chest at the same time he was rolled up on his ankles, it was Ayodele who was the guy who hit Favre high.

That play, perhaps more than any other, tipped the scales in the favor of the Saints. They eventually won the game that sent them to a Super Bowl title.

Ayodele spoke by phone with the local media and said he was happy to get a call from the Vikings, where he is expected to be the primary replacement for run-stopping nose tackle Pat Williams.

"I like the defense," Ayodele said. "I was really pleased to get the call from all the coaches. This has been one of the best defenses in the NFL the past few years. I was just really honored and I was excited for the opportunity to come out here and compete."

Ayodele said Tennessee, Seattle and Denver all showed an interesting in him. One team he didn't mention was the Saints. While he said they did have discussions, he thought his NFL future is better suited near the source of the Mississippi River, not the mouth.

"I just the like the opportunity the Vikings presented and I made the move," Ayodele said.

One of the things that intrigued Ayodele about the Vikings is that he will line up next to Kevin Williams, who has built a professional resume that gets players voted into the Hall of Fame after they retire. Ayodele said he's been watching Williams from a distance for a long time.

"Absolutely," Ayodele said when asked it he was excited to line up next to Williams. "He's a great player. I've been following him since he was in college at Oklahoma State. I'm really excited for that opportunity."

It would seem that the nose tackle torch has been passed from one native Louisianan to a player who helped inspire Louisianans after Hurricane Katrina. It will take time to see how well Ayodele can fill the big shoes Big Pat leaves behind.

SATURDAY NOTES

  • There continues to be rumors that Braylon Edwards will be coming to the Vikings, but, given Edwards' history of off-field issues, the Vikings will need to have some kind of assurance that he will be focused on playing before they will commit much in the way of guaranteed money for him.

  • Green Bay wide receiver James Jones is also getting a lot of rumor buzz to be coming over from the Packers to the Vikings. It may be part of the "addition by subtraction" divisional model Rick Spielman has devised to weaken the other teams in the NFC North. Earlier this week, the Vikings reached an agreement with Bears backup WR Devin Aromashodu.

  • Linebacker Ben Leber remains unsigned and more signs are pointing on him returning to the Vikings than remaining a free agent, although head coach Leslie Frazier said the team did explain to him their salary-cap constraints.

  • Ryan Longwell texted VU to say that he wasn't sure where he would end up when the free agent period opened earlier this week. He said that he, his wife and his children have enjoyed their time on the "other" side of the border war and was thankful the Vikings called, saying, "We really wanted to come back all along, but just didn't know how it would all play out. So we feel very blessed it worked out the way it did."


    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.


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