Chad Greenway

Chad Greenway To Retire

The Vikings announced Chad Greenway will retire after 10 seasons. A Tuesday press conference is on tap for the UFA linebacker to retire as a member of the Vikings, with whom he played all 10 of those campaigns.

Greenway signed a one-year contract in 2016 to return to the team, but last season was expected to be his last. The 34-year-old linebacker will make good on those intentions. This will mark a new era for the Vikings, who drafted both Greenway and Adrian Peterson in the first round of the 2007 draft.

The former Iowa standout made two Pro Bowls, in 2011 and 2012, and 144 career starts. He became a full-time starter beginning in Week 1 of the ’07 slate and didn’t relinquish his spot on the outside in the Vikings’ 4-3 scheme. Greenway made nine Vikings starts last season, playing for $2.75MM. Greenway played in all 16 games last season and made 41 tackles, a career-low mark. Finishing his career with 1,334 tackles, Greenway made more than 100 in six of his 10 seasons, with a 148-stop 2012 campaign representing his high-water mark. He also registered 18 career sacks.

Minnesota still has Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks and Emmanuel Lamur under contract for 2017. Lemur signed a two-year deal in 2016 as well.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikes Notes: AP, QBs, Kalil, Floyd, Greenway

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has a $6MM roster bonus due March 11, two days after the market opens, but general manager Rick Spielman told reporters Thursday that the rusher’s future “will get addressed here before free agency starts” (via Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune). Spielman hasn’t yet spoken to Peterson or his representative, but it’s fair to suggest that the Vikings likely won’t exercise the seven-time Pro Bowler’s option. Even if they don’t, though, Spielman indicated he’s amenable to bringing back the soon-to-be 32-year-old Peterson at a lesser cost in 2017. “If we don’t exercise that option, we always will keep the door open on all of our players,” Spielman said.

Regardless of whether Peterson returns next season as Minnesota’s No. 1 back, it has “got to run the football better,” head coach Mike Zimmer told Lindsey Young of the team’s website. The Vikings finished dead last in rushing (1,205) and yards per carry (3.2) last season, and barely having Peterson available didn’t help. While Peterson posted a microscopic 1.9 YPC, he did it over just 37 carries, having missed most of the year because of a torn meniscus.

More from Spielman:

  • Sam Bradford will start under center next season for the Vikings, but the quarterback position is “in flux” beyond that, according to Spielman. The Vikings have another starting-caliber signal-caller, Teddy Bridgewater, though he missed the 2016 campaign and might not play next season on account of the devastating knee injury he suffered last August. Spielman responded to that by trading the club’s first-round pick in this year’s draft (and a fourth in 2018) to the Eagles for Bradford, and the executive maintains that he “would do that over in a millisecond to get Sam Bradford on our football team with the circumstances we were dealing with.” Bradford is “just right now in the prime of his career,” Spielman opined, and is due to hit free agency next winter. Although the Vikings only went 7-8 with Bradford (8-8 overall), the 29-year-old fared respectably atop an ultra-conversative passing offense, having set the single-season completion percentage record (71.6) and posted 20 touchdowns against five interceptions.
  • Like Bradford, Bridgewater could also become a free agent next offseason if the Vikings don’t control him via his fifth-year option, which they’ll have to exercise or decline by May. In updating Bridgewater’s recovery, Spielman said: “He’s in the process of working through his motion. I know he’s doing specific things in rehab to get him back to being functional. When he’s going to be ready for football, dropping back and things like that — I think that’s still to be determined.”
  • Elsewhere on offense, the Vikings could lose longtime No. 1 left tackle Matt Kalil to free agency. Spielman, though, seemed to imply interest in re-signing the 27-year-old. “We have a plan in place on everything,” he stated. “But I also know I have a pretty good history of trying to keep our own guys as well.” Kalil missed all but two games last year because of a hip injury, and he hasn’t lived up to expectations since going fourth overall in the 2012 draft. However, he racked up 16 starts in each of his four seasons prior to 2016 and now stands as one of the most accomplished pending free agent tackles in a weak class.
  • Defensively, Spielman noted that tackle Sharrif Floyd, a potential cap casualty, is “under contract.” Like Peterson and Kalil, Floyd barely took the field last season (one appearance). But “he’s a pretty good player” when healthy, offered Spielman, who added that the team’s defense missed Floyd last season. Floyd sounds safe based on those comments, then, but Spielman could cut him by March 9 and get out of the 25-year-old’s entire $6.75MM-plus cap hit for 2017. As with Floyd, linebacker Chad Greenway‘s fate for next season will become known by the first day of the league year. Greenway, 34, will decide by then whether to retire. The pending free agent revealed last month that he’d only continue his career as a Viking, with whom he has spent all 10 of his seasons.

NFC Notes: Wolf, Seahawks, Vikings, Rams

Packers director of football operations Eliot Wolf has accepted a new contract in Green Bay and withdrawn from the 49ers’ search for a general manager, reports Tom Pelissero of USA Today. He’s the second candidate this week to bow out of San Francisco’s hunt for a GM, joining Seahawks co-director of player personnel Trent Kirchner. One of Wolf’s colleagues in Green Bay, director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst, and Vikings assistant GM George Paton are continuing to vie for the 49er job and will conduct second interviews with the team next week.

More from the NFC:

  • The Seahawks could lose a second-round pick for not disclosing cornerback Richard Sherman‘s knee injury during the season, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN. Seattle is cooperating with the NFL’s investigation, though the team doesn’t believe it deserves major punishment because Sherman didn’t miss any time on account of the ailment. Head coach Pete Carroll, who revealed Monday that Sherman had a “significant” MCL issue, could also face a fine. Last September, the league fined Carroll $200K and heavily punished the Seahawks – they received a $400K fine to go with a loss of a a fifth-round pick and a week of OTAs – after they violated its rules regarding contact practices in the offseason. As a result of this violation, the league could elevate the fifth-rounder to a second, per Mortensen. League policy clearly indicates the Seahawks were in the wrong for not listing Sherman on the injury report.
  • Pending free agent linebacker Chad Greenway is either going to re-sign with the Vikings or retire, the 34-year-old told Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune. “If playing in Minnesota for another year is an option — and pretty much all season, I’ve felt like this is going to be my last year — and now I’m just trying to make sure that decision is the one I want to make,” said Greenway. “I’ve lived every day like I wanted to, like it could be my last game in the NFL, and I enjoyed the season. Now I can take some time and think about it, and we’ll come to a decision real soon.” Greenway is the longest-tenured current Viking, having spent his entire career with the team since it selected him 17th overall in 2006. In 2016 – his 11th year – the remarkably durable Greenway logged his 10th season consisting of 16 appearances, though he recorded career lows in starts (nine) and tackles (41).
  • Redskins assistant defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant is likely to join ex-Washington offensive coordinator and now-Rams head coach Sean McVay‘s staff in Los Angeles, tweets Sporting News’ Alex Marvez. However, a deal isn’t done yet, notes Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post (Twitter link). The Redskins want to retain Pleasant, who just finished his fourth season with the club.

NFC North Notes: Stafford, Lions, Slay, Vikings

Matthew Stafford was pleased that quarterback Andrew Luck landed a mega-extension with the Colts, and he hopes that contract will help every other signal-caller during their respective negotiations. “I thought it was a good deal,” Stafford told Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com. “I’m never against anybody making as much money as they can. That’s great. This is a limited-time business. We don’t get to play this game until we’re 50, and he’s a heck of a player, deserving of every cent.” Luck is now the league’s highest-paid player, but Stafford himself could soon hold that moniker, as his current contract expires following the 2017 season.

Here’s more from the NFC North:

  • After signing Darius Slay to a lucrative extension earlier this week, the Lions have turned their attention to punter Sam Martin, as Rothstein writes in a separate piece. Martin, who is entering a contract year and who has established himself as one of the better punters in the league, had the best net punting numbers of his career last season at 41.95 yards per punt, while opponents averaged only 6.12 yards per return. Detroit is in negotiations with Martin’s representatives, and the fourth-year pro could soon be clearing more than $3MM per year.
  • The aforementioned Slay extension is a representative of the Lions‘ strategy going forward under new general manager Bob Quinn, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press“That’s the plan,” said team president Rod Wood. “Build our own through the draft and find good guys, then extend them and keep them here. It’s a lot easier when you know the guy then signing them from free agency when you’re hoping that you know them, so we’re really happy that it worked out this way.” Detroit will have a chance to execute that approach next offseason, when offensive linemen Riley Reiff and Larry Warford are scheduled to become free agents.
  • Offensive lineman Mike Harris is on the non-football injury list while he deals with an illness, and there’s not a specific timeline for his return to Vikings‘ camp, writes Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. As such, Harris’ training camp battle with right guard Brandon Fusco has essentially become a non-competition, and Minnesota’ starting offensive line is now all but certainly going to feature Matt Kalil, Alex Boone, John Sullivan, Fusco, and Andre Smith. I wrote about the Vikings’ depth up front earlier this year, but several of those options are now out of the picture.
  • Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway hinted that 2016 will be his last year in the league, per Shari L. Jones of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (video link). That does not come as much of a surprise, as Greenway hinted even before signing his current one-year deal with Minnesota that he would be hanging up his cleats at season’s end.

Rory Parks contributed to this post.

NFC North Notes: Kuhn, Vikings, Lawson

The Packers have discussed bringing back fullback John Kuhn but haven’t decided to keep their longtime backfield blocker in the fold as of yet, Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Kuhn’s agent, Kevin Gold, has talked with the Packers and other teams about the three-time Pro Bowl fullback, but Silverstein reports no decision is imminent on the eve of Green Bay’s start to its offseason program.

The 33-year-old Kuhn has played 156 games for the Packers, suiting up in green and gold for 10 of his 11 years in the league. Kuhn played ahead of 2015 sixth-rounder Aaron Ripkowski last season and made his third Pro Bowl. The Packers, who are also expected to sign Don Barclay on Monday, have $10.6MM in cap space currently.

A Division II product, Kuhn has been in this situation in recent years. Despite Kuhn being the fullback on the 2014 All-Pro first team, the Packers were able to re-sign him for the league minimum last April after agreeing to a similar one-year pact in advance of the ’14 season. Kuhn played in 23.4% of the offensive snaps last season, per Silverstein.

Here’s the latest coming out of the Packers’ top rivals’ camps.

  • This season will almost certainly be Chad Greenway‘s Vikings farewell tour, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. The 33-year-old outside linebacker signed a one-year, $2.75MM deal (with $750K guaranteed) to remain in Minnesota for an 11th season recently. “I have sort of that direction that, yeah, I want to walk away a Minnesota Viking in sort of on my own terms,” Greenway told media Sunday, including Tomasson. “Few NFL players get to do that and have the opportunity to do that. This organization and my career has allowed me to do that and kind of be in the situation.” Greenway has started 140 regular-season and playoff games with the Vikings since being taken by the team in Round 1 of the 2006 draft. He remains the favorite to start alongside Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks this season.
  • Linval Joseph has nearly recovered fully from the turf toe that shelved the emerging defensive tackle late last season, Ben Goessling of ESPN.com tweets. Pro Football Focus’ best interior defender not named Aaron Donald or J.J. Watt, Joseph missed four Vikings games with the malady last season.
  • The Vikings do not expect Adrian Peterson to attend the start of voluntary portion of their offseason workouts Monday, Tomasson reports. Peterson has been training near his home in Houston and rarely shows for the start of these gatherings.
  • Shaq Lawson drew a lofty comparison during his Lions workout, according to Chase Goodbread of NFL.com (on Twitter). During one drill, Lions defensive line coach Kris Kocurek told the former Clemson pass-rusher during an explosiveness drill he’d only seen one player flash more during that particular drill, 2014 No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney. Lawson accumulated 45.5 tackles for loss in his three years at Clemson, 24.5 last season — his only as a starter.

NFC Notes: Washington, Rams, Greenway, Giants

Although Washington didn’t have a ton of cap flexibility this offseason, the team could have made a bigger splash in free agency if GM Scot McCloughan had been interested in doing so. However, as John Keim of ESPN.com details, Washington’s players have faith in the front office and don’t mind the more patient approach to roster building.

“I’m excited about what he’s doing,” said Washington defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois. “I understand a lot of people say he didn’t bring in a lot of big names. You’ve got to know Scot McCloughan; he doesn’t like big name guys. As you can see with our [defensive backs], we got guys off the street and he brought them in and they did a wonderful job for us. I can only imagine what he’s going to do with the draft. I understand he [wants] 12 picks. I believe that first and second pick are up for grabs to get what he wants.”

As we wait to see what McCloughan has up his sleeve for draft day, let’s round up several more items from around the NFC….

  • Ohio State wide receiver Michael Thomas will work out on Friday in Los Angeles for a Rams contingent that includes GM Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
  • The Vikings‘ new one-year deal with linebacker Chad Greenway is worth $2.75MM, with $750K in guaranteed money, tweets Tom Pelissero of USA Today. Ben Goessling of ESPN.com adds (via Twitter) that the guarantee comes in the form of a $400K roster bonus and a $350K guarantee on Greenway’s $2.3MM base salary.
  • Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (all Twitter links) has the details on three recently signed Giants contracts, reporting that the deals for linebacker Kelvin Sheppard, running back Bobby Rainey, and offensive tackle Byron Stingily are all one-year, minimum salary benefit pacts. Sheppard gets an $80K signing bonus, Rainey gets a $40K signing bonus (plus $40K in additional bonuses), and Stingily gets a $20K first-game, 53-man roster bonus.
  • Maryland safety/corner Sean Davis will visit the Buccaneers next week, according to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (on Twitter). Aaron Wilson had reported over the weekend that Davis met – or will meet – with over half the teams in the NFL.
  • Aaron Wilson passes along word of a couple more pre-draft meetings, reporting (via Twitter) that Incarnate Word linebacker Myke Tavarres has a private workout this Friday with the Eagles, and tweeting that Sam Houston State punter Lachlan Edwards is privately working out for the Cardinals today.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Vikings Re-Sign Chad Greenway

APRIL 11, 12:14pm: More than a week and a half after the two sides agreed to terms, the Vikings have announced Greenway’s new deal, via a press release.

MARCH 31, 4:25pm: It appears that the deal has been agreed to. Greenway took to Twitter minutes ago with the following message for his fans:

Nobody is more excited than me to help lead this team one more time! Dream achieved, going out a Viking!”

It’s a one-year deal, according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press (on Twitter).

12:48pm: The Vikings are close to a new deal with linebacker Chad Greenway, and it should be done soon, tweets Ben Goessling of ESPN.com. Alex Marvez of FOX Sports first reported (via Twitter) that a deal between the two sides is imminent, and will be completed as early as tomorrow.Chad Greenway (Vertical)

Greenway announced his plan to play for one more season shortly after the Vikings’ Wild Card loss in January, and his intention all along had been to sign with Minnesota. While he reportedly received some interest from rival suitors, it appears that he and the Vikes will work something out after all.

Greenway, 33, has spent his entire NFL career with the Vikings, initially joining the team as a first-round pick back in 2006. The two-time Pro Bowler started 12 of 16 regular-season contests in 2015, recording 69 tackles and 2.5 sacks to go along with an interception, which he returned 91 yards for a touchdown.

The Vikings added Emmanuel Lamur in free agency earlier this month, so it remains to be seen exactly how the team’s linebacker situation will play out. Greenway may no longer be an every-down player, but the team figures to use him in a way that maximizes his strengths — Pro Football Focus graded him very poorly as a run defender in 2015, but he was solid in pass coverage.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

FA Rumors: RGIII, Browns, Rams, Falcons

Will Robert Griffin III ultimately sign with the Browns after visiting Cleveland last week? According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports (via Twitter), the prevailing feeling at the owners’ meetings in Boca Raton is that the Browns will indeed be able to get something done with RGIII. There’s no agreement in place yet, but Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com tweets that there’s a possibility of a deal by the end of the week.

As we wait to see if the two sides can strike a deal, let’s round up a few other items related to free agency, including another one on Griffin…

  • Asked about the possibility of pursuing RGIII, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher acknowledged that it’s something his team may have to consider (video link via TheRams.com). However, it didn’t sound like there was much urgency on that front for Fisher and the Rams, who have plenty of confidence in Case Keenum as their starter.
  • Falcons head coach Dan Quinn confirmed this morning that his club remains in negotiations with free agent linebacker Philip Wheeler, who may end up returning, tweets D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • Asked today about the possibility of bringing back defensive end Greg Hardy, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said that Dallas is “focused on some other guys right now,” per Todd Archer of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • Although there hasn’t been much movement on the Chad Greenway front so far, the veteran linebacker remains confident that he’ll be able to work out a new deal with the Vikings, as Ben Goessling of ESPN.com writes. While Greenway’s first choice is to remain in Minnesota, he did acknowledge that he has received some inquiries from other teams, but he’s not in a rush to make a decision.
  • Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said he was “shocked” that both Chris Johnson and Jermaine Gresham accepted less money to re-sign in Arizona, adding that there was no special sales pitch for either player (Twitter links via Peter Schrager of FOX Sports).

Extra Points: 49ers, Steelers, Vikings, Texans

Despite having the second-most spending room in the NFL ($58.84MM, per Over the Cap), the 49ers have been quiet in free agency, and Eric Branch and Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle wonder if new head coach Chip Kelly is scaring players away. Right or wrong, Kelly wasn’t exactly seen as a players’ coach in Philadelphia, and some of his methods there – e.g., daily urine tests and a fast-paced offense – could be serving as roadblocks in the 49ers’ quest to add talent, Branch and Tafur opine.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • If the league ultimately suspends Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant for next season, teammate Antonio Brown could use his absence as leverage to secure a better contract, writes Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Brown – who has combined for 375 catches and 31 touchdowns the last three seasons – is woefully underpaid relative to his production (he’s due $14.96MM the next two years). While Florio notes that the Steelers don’t negotiate new deals with non-quarterbacks who have more than one year left on their contracts, he counters that Brown could serve as an exception to that rule.
  • The Vikings are in talks with two of their own free agents, linebacker Chad Greenway and cornerback Terence Newman, according to general manager Rick Spielman (link via Ben Goessling of ESPN.com). Greenway, a Viking for all of his decade-long career, said earlier this winter that he’d like to play one more year. The 33-year-old logged 12 starts last season, giving him 135 overall, and totaled 68 tackles, 2.5 sacks and an interception. Newman, the league’s oldest defensive back (38 in September), also wants to play another year. The 13-year veteran made 16 starts for the Vikes last season, recording 62 tackles and three picks.
  • While the Vikings are interested in Greenway and Newman, the same isn’t true of free agent offensive tackle Ryan Harris, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. Having met with Andre Smith on Sunday, Minnesota is clearly in the hunt for tackle help. Nonetheless, it’s not in on Harris, who will visit with Pittsburgh in the coming days.
  • The Texans are “monitoring” the offensive tackle market, per the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, who adds that they might add one in the draft instead of free agency (Twitter link). With Duane Brown, Derek Newton and Chris Clark in the fold, the position doesn’t exactly look like a major need for the Texans.

FA Rumors: Cards, Hall, Ayers, Jets, Jenkins

With starting cornerback Jerraud Powers eligible for free agency, the Cardinals are considering their options at the position, and have veteran corner Leon Hall scheduled to come in on Monday for a visit, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Hall, 31, started just four of his 14 games for the Bengals last season, but still played in 735 defensive snaps, ranking 33rd among qualified cornerbacks, per Pro Football Focus. Cincinnati has already retained free agent defensive backs Adam Jones and George Iloka, so it will be interesting to see whether the team can also re-sign Hall (and Reggie Nelson), or whether the veteran cornerback may land in Arizona, where the Cards could pair him with Patrick Peterson.

Let’s round up a few more free agent rumors from around the league…

  • The Jaguars will make a strong effort to close on a deal with Robert Ayers during the defensive end’s visit to Jacksonville, per Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). However, the Buccaneers and Dolphins will be in play if Ayers leaves his Jags visit without a deal, Robinson notes.
  • The Jets are examining free agent defensive linemen, and will bring in Jarvis Jenkins for a visit, tweets Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. Jenkins, 27, established new career highs with 32 tackles and four sacks last season for the Bears.
  • Veteran defensive end Chris Long tells SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link via Alex Marvez of FOX Sports) that he wants to sign with a “playoff” team, adding that he really enjoyed his visits with Washington and the Falcons.
  • Linebacker Chad Greenway tells Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that, while he wants to return to the Vikings, he would consider signing – and finishing his career – with another team. Greenway, who says he has been “laying low” in free agency so far, doesn’t sound close to a deal anywhere.