Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 3/21/12
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Following one underwhelming season and facing possible discipline from the NFL, nose tackle Remi Ayodele was released Wednesday by the Minnesota Vikings. Ayodele was one of the top free-agent targets last offseason in the condensed signing period following the lockout, and Minnesota gave him a three-year, 9 million contract. He was brought in to fill in the team's nose tackle void after longtime starter Pat Williams wasn't retained. But Ayodele, 28, struggled from the very beginning. He played all 16 games, starting 13, but had only 15 tackles and 1 sacks. The seven-year pro was coming off back-to-back solid seasons as a starter for the New Orleans Saints. In fact, his time in New Orleans might have been one reason he was released by Minnesota. Ayodele could end up facing disciplinary action if he's linked to the Saints' bounty program. The NFL came down hard on New Orleans on Wednesday for paying players based on defensive performances, including knocking out opposing players. The punishment handed out by commissioner Roger Goodell included suspending Saints coach Sean Payton for the entire 2012 season and suspending former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams indefinitely. The Saints' GM will face an eight-game suspension, and the team was fined 500,000 and will forfeit two second-round draft picks. Ayodele was involved in one of the most infamous hits during the Saints' much-scrutinized 2010 NFC Championship game against Minnesota, when he was part of a high-low hit to former Vikings quarterback Brett Favre. Favre is one of four quarterbacks the NFL's investigation revealed New Orleans targeted. The involved players could also face strict penalties, but that action will take place later as the league and players' association works through the particulars. In the past eight days, Minnesota had re-signed defensive tackles Letroy Guion and Fred Evans. Ayodele was scheduled to make 2.2 million this season as part of his base salary. Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.
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