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Vikings Lose Center Matt Birk to the Ravens

The Vikings lost out on one of their best all-time offensive lineman, as today center Matt Birk chose to move to the Baltimore Ravens, spurning coming back to the Vikings for the 2009 season. Birk’s contract is worth $12 million over four years, sources told, with $6 million of the deal guaranteed. Birk will receive $9 million in the first two years of the deal, which is believed to be similar to the one offered by the Vikings.

Vikings coach Brad Childress, has issued a statement regarding the decision of the six-time Pro Bowler to sign with the Ravens.

“The Minnesota Vikings thank Matt for all he did for the organization both on and off the field over the past 11 years,” Childress said. “Matt has done a great job and we wanted him to return to the Vikings in ’09, but at this point Matt wanted a change of scenery. We wish him the best and know that he will always be a part of the Vikings family. We look forward to playing Matt this upcoming season at the Metrodome.”

Birk had six Pro Bowl appearances for the Vikings, he’s played in 146 games, with 123 starts. He missed some time in 2004 with a sports hernia and sat out the entire 2005 season because of hip surgery. But Birk has started all 16 games in each of the past three seasons.

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