Vikings face key decisions on defensive free agents before 2016 season


Now that their season has come to an end, the Minnesota Vikings will shift their focus to the offseason. That means the NFL Scouting Combine, the draft and free agency.

With Adrian Peterson, Teddy Bridgewater, Anthony Barr, Everson Griffen, Linval Joseph and Harrison Smith safely under contract for 2016, some major decisions are at least a year down the road.

But that's not to say there won't be some tough ones to make this year.

"The team is going to be different next year," Smith told 1500 ESPN. "But I imagine we'll have a lot of carryover. That foundation, I think, should help us moving forward."

The Vikings have 17 free agents – 11 of them on defense – headlined by linebacker Chad Greenway, 32, and 37-year-old cornerback Terence Newman.

Greenway, who was the first round pick of the Vikings in 2006, has had an impressive 10 seasons in Minnesota. The Iowa standout and South Dakota native was a two-time Pro Bowler and three-time Vikings defensive MVP (2010, 2012, 2013).

He has also been highly praised for his off-the-field accomplishments, earning the Vikings nomination for the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

But Greenway told 1500 ESPN Sunday that he hasn't given a lot of thought to his future.

"We've been on such a groove this season. It's just been a lot of fun with this football team and seeing how things have gone throughout the course of the year. It's been such a privilege and honor to play on this team, specifically.

Whether or not Greenway is back in Minnesota, he seems determined not to retire.

"That's a decision that's going to have to come," Greenway said. "I'm going to play football. I got to play one more year. It can't, it just can't seem to end like this. It's a hard one."

Will he be back, or won't he? The Daily Norseman notes if Greenway does come back for another season it would most likely be on a one year, incentive laden vet minimum deal.

In addition to Greenway, the Vikings will also have to decide what to do with Newman and safety Andrew Sendejo. With Trae Waynes likely to push for a starting spot at corner, one option the Vikings could consider is moving Newman to safety, where he filled in when the Vikings defensive backfield was decimated by injury.

Next Up

Kirill Kaprizov

Golden Knights strike back, overcome Kaprizov heroics

Kaprizov scored twice in the third period but the Wild lost 3-2.

Marcus Foligno

Hockey fight: Foligno steps in after Knights' hit on Kaprizov

All hell broke loose after Nicolas Hague's hit on Kirill Kaprizov.

Governor Tim Walz

Walz will announce timeline 'to end all COVID-19 restrictions'

The details will be revealed in the governor's planned Thursday address.

Associate wearing PPE 2

Amazon to open new facility in St. Cloud this year, creating 'hundreds' of jobs

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis shared the news in his State of the City address this week.

State Patrol

State Patrol: Semi driver kills self after being stopped by troopers

The incident happened Wednesday morning in the Miracle Mile shopping center parking lot in Rochester.

state fair beer

Money Gal: Don't forget the most important items in your budget

Kelly started Money Gal Coaching after paying down more than $46,000 in debt in just 20 months.


Crash kills motorcyclist near Treasure Island casino

The crash took place just before midnight.

The Lunds & Byerlys on Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis, three weeks prior to opening.

New Lunds & Byerlys opens in Minneapolis this month

It's been built in the spot formerly occupied by Bergan's SuperValu.

valleyfair food workers 1

Valleyfair food workers getting a pay raise for 2021 season

The starting wage will increase from $11.25 an hour to $15 an hour.

Screen Shot 2021-05-05 at 11.10.59 AM

Peloton recalls treadmills after child's death, dozens of other injuries

Officials say owners should stop using them immediately.

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 6.42.54 AM

St. Paul man gets prison, ordered to pay $12M for burning of 3rd Police Precinct

He was among four Minnesota men charged in connection to the fires at the Third Precinct following George Floyd's murder.


Some MN high schools are refusing to pay MSHSL's pandemic fee

The installment fees were approved as a "short-term" budget fix.