The Vikings today pulled off somewhat of a surprise move as they released veteran safety Dwight Smith, making him a free agent. Smith did have some issues with the teams defensive game plans, and was at time butting heads with head coach Brad Childress. “We appreciate his contributions. We’re just going in a different direction,” Childress said. “I just think it’s the right thing to do for him and his agent before free agency begins.”
Smith and Pro Bowl safety Darren Sharper were a pretty solid twosome in the Vikings backfield, but with going against what Childress wants to do with the teams defense, as well as a misdemeanor drug charge and another arrest at a club that took place, the Vikings felt that letting Smith go was the right thing to do. “I’m not going to cast any aspersions on Dwight,” Childress said. “I’m going to let it stand for itself and stay on the high road.”
The former Tampa Bay Buccaneer signed with the Vikings before training camp in 2006. He had four picks this past season, including one that went for a 93-yard score in a win in the Meadowlands over the New York Giants. Smith, a third-round draft pick by the Buccaneers in 2001 out of Akron, has 22 interceptions in 107 career NFL games. He spent one season, 2005, with the New Orleans Saints.