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Ben Goessling

Sports reporter | Vikings
Ben Goessling is in his sixth year covering the Vikings, having joined the Star Tribune in 2017 after four seasons at ESPN and one at the Pioneer Press. He is an Apple Valley High School and University of Minnesota graduate.
Recent content from Ben Goessling
Stefon Diggs showed off his skills during practice at the team's new Eagan facility on Wednesday.

Will Diggs command even more money if he clicks with Cousins?

Wide receivers around the NFL are getting paid big money. Will Stefon Diggs be next? How he fits in with new QB Kirk Cousins will be the factor.
Ade Aruna did not try football until his senior year in high school. A few short years later he got an NFL combine invite.

From Nigeria to U.S. - and basketball to football - Vikes see Aruna's potential

In Ade Aruna's attributes — 34 ½-inch arms, 4.6-second 40-yard dash time, 38 ½-inch vertical jump — the Vikings see the kind of prospect with whom defensive line coach Andre Patterson has struck gold before.
Vikings cornerback Terence Newman will be back for his 16th NFL season.

Vikings' Terence Newman says this is his final shot at a Super Bowl title

The NFL's oldest defender wants to pursue a title, then has plans to retire.
Vikings cornerback Terence Newman will be back for his 16th NFL season.

Newman returning to Vikings for 16th NFL season

After picking up the option for Trae Waynes, one of the teams' younger defensive backs, the Vikings tapped Terence Newman for another season as well.
Before formally being introduced to local media members Minnesota Vikings first round pick cornerback Mike Hughes from the University of Central Flori

Mock draft meets reality: What the Vikings did vs. what we expected

Last week, Star Tribune football writer Ben Goessling offered his version of whom the Vikings would take in the 2018 NFL Draft. Take a look at his picks vs. the ones made by the team.
Will the University of Pittsburgh's Brian O'Neill, left, be able to step in and immediately help the Vikings' offensive line? Much of the 2018 roster

Five questions still facing the 2018 Vikings

A team that went 13-3 last season has Super Bowl aspirations again this year. But the Vikings still face questions about how they'll reach that goal.
The jersey for Vikings first-round pick Mike Hughes, left, is the last one that had its name sewn on by Penny Bryce, center.

Vikings' seamstress Penny Bryce hanging up her needle after 49 years

Since 1969, Penny Bryce has tended to uniforms of Vikings players but after she sewed the nameplate for first-round pick Mike Hughes the time has come to retire..
UCF returner Mike Hughes (19) returns a punt 63 yards for a touchdown during the third quarter against East Carolina in October.

Vikings draft Central Florida cornerback Hughes with 30th pick

The Vikings on Thursday night waited patiently before picking up Mike Hughes, using a first-round pick on a defensive back for the fourth time in six years and continuing to invest in the league's top-ranked defense.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins got a head-start on the new game plan.

Cousins begins building foundation with Vikings — on and off the field

There's no doubt Kirk Cousins will be the alpha dog of a Vikings team that harbors Super Bowl expectations as it heads into 2018. But he knows better than to force himself into that role.
The Vikings could go in many different directions when selecting players for the 2018 NFL draft. Frank Ragnow, Billy Price and Troy Fumagalli are all

Vikings Mock Draft: Projecting every Vikings pick in all seven rounds

Adding Kirk Cousins and Sheldon Richardson in free agency were big steps for the Vikings. The next is filling needs in the draft. Our ultimate Vikings Mock Draft features predictions for all seven rounds.
Corey Clement broke away from Anthony Barr in the second quarter of the NFC championship game last season.

Super Bowl dreams? First, Vikings face one of NFL's toughest schedules

The team's 2018 schedule is highlighted by an opening five-week stretch that includes road games with the Packers, Rams and Eagles.
Minnesota Vikings middle linebacker Eric Kendricks signed a contract extension for $50 million over five years. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

Kendricks' new deal puts him among highest-paid inside linebackers

Linebacker Eric Kendricks is the first of four significant players signed by the Vikings who are scheduled to hit free agency after the 2018 season.
Kendall Wright is hoping his time with the Vikings will stick after last playing for the Bears and Titans. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Kendall Wright hopes to catch on for good with the Vikings

The former Bears receiver is on a one-year deal that he hopes will turn into something more long-term.
Kendall Wright

Vikings load up on wide receivers by signing Kendall Wright

Wright, who played for the Bears in 2017, figures to join the team as a slot receiver who can pair with Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs in a three-receiver set.
Receiver Kendall Wright, who caught 59 passes for 614 yards a year ago for the Bears, would provide the Vikings another complement to Adam Thielen and

Receiver Kendall Wright visits Vikings on his free-agency tour

With the departure of Jarius Wright to Carolina, the Vikings got a visit from the former Bears receiver.
Marcus Sherels is back for a ninth season with the Vikings.

Vikings re-sign Sherels for ninth season with team

The former undrafted free agent, who's become the Vikings' career leader in punt return yards and touchdowns, signed a one-year contract.
Joe Berger had offers to play for the Vikings or Detroit next year, but he declined both, saying he made up his mind to retire after last season ended

Vikings' Berger, content with career, retires

With an engineering degree and peace in his heart, the 13-year NFL lineman has an eye on his future after football.
Kirk Cousins was officially introduced as a Vikings quarterback during a press conference at the Vikings TCO Performance Center, Thursday, March 15, 2

Signing Cousins will require nimble salary-cap management by Vikings

The bold move to sign Kirk Cousins came after the Vikings have shown two things: They can win without quarterback stability and with an ongoing inability to solve their most enduring problem.
Kirk Cousins and his wife Julie Hampton exit dinner at Capital Grille in Minneapolis with Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman on Wednesday night.

Cousins has 'great visit' with Vikings; official announcement next

The courtship continues: Free-agent QB Kirk Cousins on Wednesday dined in Minneapolis with seven members of the Vikings organization, including GM Rick Spielman, co-owner Mark Wilf and coach Mike Zimmer.
Offensive lineman Nick Easton

As Vikings fill needs on line, Easton expected to get second-round tender

The Vikings could match any offers for lineman.
Kirk Cousins could surpass the 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo ($27.5 million a year) as the NFL’s highest-paid quarterback.

If you trust the math, the Vikings can afford to sign costly QB

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer cautioned at the combine that a quarterback move shouldn't come at the expense of the rest of the roster, and deals affecting the defense make up an outsized portion of the Vikings' potential contract extensions in the next year.
Georgia linebacker Lorenzo Carter ran the 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis on Sunday. A projected second- or third-round pick,

Vikings go beyond the norm when evaluating draft prospects

Certain traits, they believe, can help predict player success.
Tulane defensive lineman Ade Aruna performed in a drill at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis on Sunday.

Three defensive linemen the Vikings might want to consider

The Vikings' recent drafts have transformed the team's defense through the addition of athletic players who have shone at the NFL combine. So who's next?
The Vikings paid Kyle Sloter big money on their practice squad before promoting him for fear of losing him to another team.

When evaluating the Vikings' quarterback options, youth could be served

As the Vikings search for a quarterback to lead for the future, don't rule out a move in the draft or backup Kyle Sloter as an option.
Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer addressed the media during a season-ending press conference at Winter Park, Tuesday, January 23, 2018 in Eden

Zimmer's challenge: Pick right quarterback, balance other needs

The Vikings' upcoming quarterback decision might be the one with the most potential to pierce the team's present cocoon of stability.
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook celebrated his five-yard touchdown run in the second quarter against the Detroit Lions. JEFF WHEELER jeff.w

Cook could be 'pretty close' to returning for spring workouts

Mike Zimmer wants to be sure not to wear Dalvin Cook out upon his return as he pushes through a long season.
Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, in In

Spielman remains tight-lipped about team's quarterback talks

Rick Spielman declares no decision has been about whether to place the franchise tag on Case Keenum.
Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is cleared to practice more than a year after suffering a career-threatening knee injury.

Contract status settled, Bridgewater set for free agency

If Teddy Bridgewater's career with the Vikings is to continue, the team will have to sign him to a new deal for the 2018 season.
Case Keenum released the pass that Stefon Diggs caught for the game-winning touchdown in the playoffs against New Orleans.

Report: Keenum to hit free agency after Vikings eschew franchise tag

While the Vikings still have more than two weeks to work out a deal with quarterback Case Keenum before he becomes a free agent, they apparently don't plan to use their simplest method to retain Keenum's services for the 2018 season.
Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (73) during the first day of the team’s NFL football training camp at Mankato State University in M

Floyd awaiting grievance settlement with Vikings over contract dispute

Sharrif Floyd missed all of last season and played just one game in 2016 after undergoing knee surgery. He's hoping to recoup his entire $6.757 million salary for the 2017 season
Todd Downing was the Raiders offensive coordinator before Oakland hired Jon Gruden as its new head coach.

Vikings hire former Raiders offensive coordinator

The Vikings are hiring former Raiders offensive coordinator Todd Downing as a senior offensive assistant, according to a league source.
In this Jan. 3, 2018, photo, Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo watches the team practice in Philadelphia, Pa. The Minnesota Viking

If DeFilippo brings Vikings QB stability, he might not last here long

Here the Vikings go again? A successful 2018 - especially on offense - could land new OC John DeFilippo a head coaching job for 2019.
In this Jan. 3, 2018, photo, Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo watches the team practice in Philadelphia, Pa. The Minnesota Viking

DeFilippo: 'When the Vikings want to talk to you, that's a whole different ballgame'

When coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman sat down with new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, hours after the Eagles celebrated their Super Bowl championship with a parade, they knew they had his attention.
John DeFilippo was previously offensive coordinator in Cleveland

Position filled: Vikings make DeFilippo their offensive coordinator

John DeFilippo, 39, beat out Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski, who was thought to be the team's other leading candidate to replace Pat Shurmur.
John DeFilippo

Vikings interviewing Eagles QB coach for offensive coordinator job

According to Sirius XM's Adam Caplan, the Vikings will interview Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo on Thursday. The eventual hire will help sort out the team's quarterback situation.
Eagles quarterback Nick Foles held his son and waved during the victory celebration after Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.

The NFL is changing dramatically. Where do the Vikings fit in?

The Vikings have big decisions ahead at key positions as they prepare for a 2018 season that looks to feature a tougher schedule and, despite their success, high-level uncertainty.
Adrian Peterson today at MOA credit: Ben Goessling - Star Tribune

Despite missing Super Bowl run, Peterson says he'll 'always bleed purple'

Adrian Peterson, in town for the Super Bowl, said he wants to play for possibly another four years, sticking to his oft-stated timeline of playing until he's 37
The Patriots’ improbable comeback last season edged the Falcons, but they will need to counter a strong Eagles pass rush (bottom) to win their sixth

Patriots have Super Bowl legacy of seizing the day; will Eagles' pressure turn the tables?

Tom Brady on Sunday can lock up the most championships by an NFL quarterback while coach Bill Belichick can surpass Vince Lombardi. But standing in their way in a stout Eagles team.
Eagles quarterback Nick Foles talked during Super Bowl LII Opening Night at Xcel Energy Center on Monday night.

Foles gave Eagles a back-up plan that worked to perfection

When a torn ACL ended quarterback Carson Wentz's MVP-caliber season on a December afternoon in Los Angeles, the Eagles' fortunes were hoisted onto Nick Foles' shoulders.
Danielle Hunter (99) is among the Vikings' defensive linemen due back next season.

Vikings 2018 roster: Who's in, who's out for team heading into next season

The Vikings have a strong nucleus heading into 2018, led by the league's top defense. But there will be changes before next season — possibly at the most important position on the roster.
Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski, left with Sam Bradford, seeks the O.C. post.

Vikings search for a new offensive coordinator begins close to home

The team will talk to QBs coach Kevin Stefanski and former Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.
Vikings quarterbacks Case Keenum (7) and Teddy Bridgewater are both unsigned going into next season.

Zimmer's 2018 to-do list: Hire coordinator, sort out quarterbacks

While things appear to be set up for the Vikings to have another strong season in 2018, two important positions on offense will have to be filled.
Pat Elflein. ]

Elflein needing surgery; Zimmer won't attend Super Bowl

Vikings center Pat Elflein, who left the locker room on crutches and with his left foot in a walking boot after the NFC Championship Game, is among several players who will need off-season surgery.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen cleaned out his locker at Winter Park.

Vikings bemoan lost opportunity: 'This is going to hurt for a while'

A group of players that spent the past week talking about the need to take care of their current opportunity was left with no assurances another one would come along.
Pat Shurmur has vacated his position as the Vikings’ offensive coordinator to become the Giants head coach.

Shurmur named Giants head coach; who takes his role with Vikings?

ESPN reported the Giants gave Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur a five-year contract, making him a head coach for the second time in his career.
Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery celebrated as he scored on a 53-yard touchdown in the second quarter against the Vikings in Sunday's NFC Champions

Back home empty handed: Vikings suffer blowout to Eagles

There were no miracles in Philadelphia as the Vikings lost a sixth NFC championship and ended their season in humiliating fashion with the 38-7 defeat.
Go time: Can Vikings erase years of heartbreak with NFC title over Eagles?

Go time: Can Vikings erase years of heartbreak with NFC title over Eagles?

One more game. One more win. One last chance for the Vikings to earn a Super Bowl berth.
Nick Foles, left, and Case Keenum

Good friends Keenum and Foles traveled a winding path to NFC title game

Case Keenum and Nick Foles — both signed as insurance plans for their teams before the season — will compete for a Super Bowl berth in Philadelphia in a most unlikely quarterback duel.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer raised his arms in triumph after his team beat the New Orleans Saints on Sunday in the NFC divisional playoff game.

Zimmer's lengthy stretch between playoff wins gives Vikings greater urgency

The long drought after Mike Zimmer won a Super Bowl on Dallas' staff in 1995 helped him make the point to his players that they shouldn't assume chances come along often.
Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen wore the expression of shock after the improbable, last-play victory over New Orleans on Sunday night.

Back to earth, Vikings move on to prepare for Eagles

On Monday morning, with perhaps the most dramatic moment in franchise history behind them and their biggest game in eight years ahead the Vikings got back to work the same way they always do.
Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur is expected to be named New York Giants coach. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn, File)

Shurmur likely to be next New York Giants head coach

According to a league source, Vikings' offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur is the Giants' top choice to become their next head coach.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford (8) warms up before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, in Chicago. (AP P

Vikings activate Bradford, but Sunday status is unclear

Sam Bradford is back on the Vikings' 53-man roster, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be Case Keenum's backup.
Shurmur

Vikings' Shurmur interviews for jobs, then refocuses on Saints

Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur spent three days last week interviewing for four head coaching jobs, talking to the Detroit Lions, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears and New York Giants about potential openings.
The Vikings’ Adam Thielen turned a rookie tryout camp into his first Pro Bowl selection this season.

Hungry Thielen became star despite odds that weren't ever in his favor

Once he arrived at Minnesota State, the Detroit lakes High School graduate began the process of elbowing his way through every obstacle that could hinder his future in football.
Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Sam Bradford in the fourth quarter on Sept. 11, when the the Vikings beat the Sain

What revenge? Vikings not fueled by 2009 title game loss to Saints

Only three players on the Vikings' active roster were even in the NFL at the time of the game. So while fans might be viewing this game as a chance for closure after a painful playoff loss, the current Vikings aren't.
FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2017, file photo, Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton (1) and New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees (9) embrace before an NFL football gam

Vikings will play Panthers-Saints winner in divisional round

Regardless of what happens Sunday, next week will be a rematch: The Vikings beat New Orleans in Week 1; Carolina was the last team to beat the Vikings on Dec. 10.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford during practice at Winter Park. CARLOS GONZALEZ cgonzalez@startribune.com

Bradford on return: Once you play in the NFL 'it's really hard to let it go'

Sam Bradford said surgery was the last resort, but he's encouraged by the progress he has made in returning to the Vikings' practice field.
Minnesota Vikings' Kyle Rudolph continues to nurse a sore ankle. ELIZABETH FLORES liz.flores@startribune.com

Rudolph, recovering from ankle injury, grateful for bye week

Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph said he would have been a "terrible" player if he had to be ready this week.
Vikings defensive lineman Brian Robison, center, celebrating a sack on Sunday, has waited eight years to get back to a home divisional playoff game.

Bye week offers Vikings time to prepare, savor the moment

Some veterans have waited eight years to play another NFC divisional playoff game at home.
Eric Kendricks (54) celebrated with Trae Waynes (26) after a tackle in the third quarter.

Vikings defeat Bears to clinch bye, enter postseason with edge

The Vikings head into the playoffs as the second team in franchise history to win at least 13 games, after a 23-10 win over the Bears on Sunday. The Vikings will open the playoffs in two weeks as the NFC's No. 2 seed
Minnesota Vikings receiver Jarius Wright. (CARLOS GONZALEZ cgonzalez@startribune.com)

Wright bet on himself, and now Vikings' receiver is getting paid

Jarius Wright agreed to restructure his contract, but has made up the difference with per-game roster bonuses.
Minnesota Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon and his teammates hope to secure a first-round bye with a win over the Bears on Sunday. The Minnesota V

With first-round bye at stake, Vikings have incentive vs. Bears

Beating the Bears counts twice as much since it would also guarantee a first-round bye for the Vikings.
Vikings lineman Stephen Weatherly gathered acumen in areas such as science and music long before working on his NFL-caliber defensive skills at Vander

For Weatherly, Vikings' Renaissance man, football only part of story

In the Vikings locker room, the defensive end's rich family history and array of interests and talents leave teammates in awe.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his right collarbone when he was hit by Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr on Oct. 15.

Barr takes out Rodgers: The hit that changed the 2017 football season

The Packers walked into U.S. Bank Stadium in October with a 4-1 record and in prime position for another run deep into the NFL postseason. Then, quarterback Aaron Rodgers was injured.
It will be a lot colder Saturday than it was Oct. 15, when Adam Thielen had nine receptions for 96 yards against the Packers in a 23-10 win.

The call: The Vikings will beat the Packers if …

They establish the run while applying enough pressure to Brett Hundley to keep him from making plays outside the pocket.
Green Bay Packers' Davante Adams is helped off the field after being injured against the Carolina Panthers.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer says keeping players safe from vicious hits is getting even tougher

Packers coach Mike McCarthy made an effort to differentiate between the Anthony Barr hit on Aaron Rodgers and Sunday's by Thomas Davis.
Green

The Vikings will beat the Bengals if ...

The Vikings face a Bengals team missing all three of its starting linebackers and both of its regular starting cornerbacks. The Vikings should be able…
Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers sacked Vikings quarterback Case Keenum in the first half Sunday.

Vikings' suddenly unstable line feels all too familiar

As the Vikings got back to work Monday, following their first loss since Oct. 1, they were beset by familiar questions about a topic they'd rather not have to revisit.
Minnesota Vikings' Case Keenum (7) escapes the tackle of Carolina Panthers' Captain Munnerlyn (41) during the first half of an NFL football game in Ch

Reiff in walking boot as offensive line issues mount for Vikings

The Vikings, who had already ruled out right tackle Mike Remmers, deactivated center Pat Elflein for the game. Then, left tackle Riley Reiff limped off in the third quarter.
Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph hauled in the go-ahead 6-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter Sunday, his fifth TD catch of 2017 inside the red zo

Vikings now scoring instead of stalling in the red zone

The Vikings have been nearly perfect at collecting TDs once inside the 20-yard line since returning from the bye week.

For NFL playoff seeding, Vikings' game against Panthers is pivotal

The Vikings want to keep pace with the Eagles in tiebreakers.
Head coach Mike Zimmer celebrated the Vikings 14-9 win over the Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Zimmer's way: Vikings grab top seed in playoff picture by shutting down Falcons

Without the benefit of a sack to derail a possession or a turnover to end one, the Vikings kept Atlanta out of the end zone for the first time in almost two years and took over the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff picture.
Only four teams have gone to the playoffs more than the Vikings in the past 25 years, and more times than not they have been led by QBs not drafted by

Vikings haven't had mainstay at QB in 25 years, routinely make the playoffs

Few teams have done better scrambling at punching in new faces at quarterback than the Vikings.
Keenum

Case Keenum becomes fifth quarterback in Vikings history to win NFC Offensive Player of the Month honors

The Vikings will start Case Keenum for the 10th time this season on Sunday in Atlanta, in the quarterback's first game after winning NFC…
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum drives the Vikings down field in the second quarter against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017 at

Vikings, even at 9-2, have flaws they hope to fix before further exposed

The Vikings seem in no hurry to tout their Super Bowl credentials at this point - not with two critical road games coming up.
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