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Vikings sign kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have signed kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd to a two-year contract.

The deal was announced by the Vikings on Tuesday. It includes a signing bonus, but agent Frank Murtha declined to specify the amount.

Lloyd handled kickoffs for the Carolina Panthers the last two seasons, leading the NFL with 30 touchbacks in 2008. He had 21 touchbacks last year, tied for fourth-most in the league.

Ryan Longwell remains the regular kicker for the Vikings. He was second in the NFL in field-goal percentage, but had only five touchbacks last year, 23rd in the league.

Lloyd played at Eastview High School in the Twin Cities area and two seasons at Rochester Community and Technical College before transferring to the University of Minnesota. Lloyd's 101 points for the Gophers in 2003 are the fifth-most in program history for a single season.