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Locke to the Vikings; Lumpkin to the Cardinals

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Derrick Locke ran for 10 touchdowns last year despite missing four games with a shoulder stinger. Derrick Locke ran for 10 touchdowns last year despite missing four games with a shoulder stinger. (Associated Press)

The free-agent signings are coming fast and furious.

Just moments after former Kentucky wide receiver Chris Matthews announced he was joining the Cleveland Browns, former running back Derrick Locke and defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin have announced that they've found teams as well.

Locke posted a picture on his Facebook account that indicates he will sign with the Minnesota Vikings while Lumpkin tweeted that he's headed west to the Arizona Cardinals.

Locke led Kentucky in rushing the last two seasons despite a series of injuries. The 5-foot-9, 190-pound tailback ran for 919 yards and 10 touchdowns in nine games as a senior.

Concern over a shoulder stinger/spine injury he suffered midway through the year led teams to pass over him on draft day. If Locke can prove he's healthy, he could be one of the steals of the 2011 NFL season. Several publications have him listed as the top undrafted free agent, including Sports Illustrated.

The Vikings went 6-10 last season and have plenty of good running back depth with Adrian Peterson (283 carries for 1,298 yards and 12 touchdowns) and Toby Gerhart (81 attempts for 322 yards and one touchdown), but Locke figures to get a look on special teams as returner.

Lumpkin appeared in 13 games for the Wildcats as a senior, totaling 21 tackles, including 5.5 for a loss. The 6-foot-4, 306-pound defensive tackle from Clarksville, Tenn., will join former UK running back and undrafted signee Alfonso Smith on a 5-11 Arizona team.

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