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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
Kobe McCrary played two seasons for the Gophers, and signed with the Vikings on Monday.

Shorthanded Vikings sign former Gopher McCrary

Aruna goes on injured reserve, and three other players were waived after injuries.
Minnesota Vikings running back Latavius Murray fumbled the ball in the first quarter Saturday against Jacksonville.

Vikings come up short in rocky 14-10 preseason loss to Jaguars

The Vikings offense was less crisp in their second preseason game, losing at U.S. Bank Stadium to Jacksonville.
The Vikings and Jaguars shared a joint practice session.

Vikings faced a formidable scout team foe in Jaguars to prepare for preseason game

The Vikings' preseason game against Jacksonville could be more useful than most after joint practices.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) studies a great deal of film to have success with play-action passes.

Cousins works diligently at the play-action pass

That success, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins said Thursday, is a result of extensive film study — but it can be undone if there's not the same attention to detail from the rest of the offense.
Minnesota Vikings first-round pick, cornerback Mike Hughes

Vikings give Hughes first-team nickel reps; first-round pick continues to impress

As first-round pick Mike Hughes continues to impress the Vikings in training camp, coaches are giving him more of a chance to shine.
Vikings rookie running back Roc Thomas scored on a 74-yard touchdown catch in an exhibition game Saturday against the Broncos.

Vikings rookie Thomas builds a McKinnon skill set

Roc Thomas saw how the Vikings had used Jerick McKinnon, what they were going to be missing and realized he might be able to succeed in Minnesota by imitating a bit of what the former third-round pick had done.
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook did not play Saturday night in Denver.

Cook among five likely Vikings starters held out of preseason opener

The Vikings opted to hold running back Dalvin Cook out of their preseason opener against the Broncos on Saturday night
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) congratulated receiver Stefon Diggs (14) after his 1-yard touchdown catch Saturday at Mile High Stadium in Denver

Cousins outperforms Vikings' predecessor Keenum in brief showdown

Kirk Cousins was 4-for-4 with a TD pass for the Vikings in the preseason opener Saturday night; Denver's Case Keenum struggled.
Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Nick Easton had neck surgery and will likely miss the rest of the season.

Another hole in the line: Easton expected to miss season with neck injury

The Vikings, who were already trying to replace one of their starting guards from the 2017 season, will now likely spend the year without their other returning starter.
Stefon Diggs caught a pass in the end zone while being defended by Xavier Rhodes during a workout on July 30.

'Brothers fight.' Diggs, Rhodes say all is good after practice squabble

Both players said that coach Mike Zimmer's decision to bar them from Wednesday's practice sent a strong message and that things are now good between them.
Denver Broncos quarterback Case Keenum carried the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game last season.

Vikings start preseason vs. familiar foe in Broncos' Keenum

As the Vikings open the preseason Saturday, they'll line up across from the quarterback whose unlikely rise to the starting job fueled the team's trip to the NFC Championship Game last season: Case Keenum.
Vikings offensive lineman Nick Easton is battling neck and back issues.

Vikings piecing together offensive line as injuries pile up

With Nick Easton, Pat Elflein and Mike Remmers sidelined, the Vikings are digging deeper into their roster as they prepare for Saturday's preseason opener at Denver.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) waves to the fans as he enters the stadium at a night practice during the team's training camp at TC

Vikings fans have little trouble filling up new facility in Eagan

The team started releasing more general admission tickets to training camp practices last week, and most of the GA seats in the end zones behind the Vikings' practice fields were full for the better part of the afternoon session.
Vikings' Harrison Smith during practice at their new facility Wednesday, May 23, 2018 in Eagan, Minn. (Brian Peterson/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS) OR

Vikings defenders feeling hamstrung by new rules on helmet contact

After the season it had, the NFL figured to respond with measures to facilitate more offense. But as the players viewed some examples of hits that would be penalized this season, the Vikings were taken aback.
Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss found his way into the end zone and then into the Metrodome crowd after a touchdown catch against Tampa Bay in 2000.

Moss' arrival changed the Minnesota sports landscape for good

Randy Moss arrived on the Twin Cities sports scene when it was in the midst of a malaise of mediocrity. He left an imprint that may never again be matched.
Anthony Barr of the Vikings hit Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Oct. 15, 2017, and Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone.

Barr's hit on Rodgers would be penalty this season

Anthony Barr's hit on the Green Bay star quarterback started a firestorm on social media last fall, as the linebacker became a special target of Packers' fans ire.
Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs

Diggs' big deal: $72M over five years from Vikings

Some parameters of Stefon Diggs' new contract with the Vikings are identical to the ones defensive end Danielle Hunter got earlier this summer.
Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr still has some moves to learn to become a premier pass rusher.

Improvement in pass rushing could mean big payday for Barr

As linebacker Anthony Barr moves closer to free agency, questions remain about whether he will be the next defender the Vikings lock up with a long-term deal.
There are now 19 wideouts playing on contracts worth at least $10 million a season, and the Vikings' Stefon Diggs could put himself in position to be

Wide receiver salary market looking better for Diggs

There are now 19 wideouts playing on contracts worth at least $10 million a season, and Diggs could put himself in position to be the 20th.
Vikings offensive linemen carry the casket of offensive line coach, Tony Sparano after his funeral was held at St. Bartholomew Catholic Faith Communit

Vikings say final farewell to Tony Sparano

"He took me to places I couldn't go as a player and as a man," center Pat Elflein said. "It wasn't just football with him. He really cared about his players, the well-being of his players."
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins during Thursday's workout. “They’re easy to lead to because they are so excited about football and they love play

Cousins, confident and in control, already taking Vikings lead

There's little for 29-year-old quarterback Kirk Cousins to worry about other than bonding with his new Vikings teammates who seem as invigorated by football minutiae as he is.
A tribute to offensive line coach Tony Sparano loomed above the Vikings’ first training camp practice in Eagan.

Refuge in the routine: Vikings return to field after Sparano's death

Coach Mike Zimmer tried to pay homage to his friend Wednesday by dispensing some of Tony Sparano's good-natured ribbing to the Vikings' young offensive linemen.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousin watched as kids warmed up at his football camp at Hope College Friday June, 29, 2018 in Holland , MI.

Soaring expectations can't uproot Cousins from hometown

Kirk Cousins has fame and wealth, but to know who he is, you have to turn to his hometown.
Tony Sparano, a two-time NFL head coach who had been the Vikings offensive line coach since 2016, died Sunday morning at the age of 56, the team said.

'Passionate and driven' Vikings offensive line coach Sparano dies

Sparano, 56, brought caring and wisdom as a no-nonsense offensive line coach.
Vikings players worked out at minicamp earlier this month in Eagan.

Want to watch Vikings training camp? Better start planning now

The Vikings will require tickets for fans to attend practices in their first training camp at their new practice facility in Eagan. Season-ticket holders get first crack on Thursday.
Vikings tackle Mike Remmers, left, took part in minicamp at the TCO Vikings Performance Center

Vikings have less furniture to move as offensive line takes shape

As the Vikings spent the spring minicamp learning a new offense and breaking in new quarterback Kirk Cousins, they had to do it with some moving parts on the offensive line.
Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf (left) addressed NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s (right) new national anthem policy for the first time. Mark and Zygi Wi

Vikings owners support NFL's new anthem policy

Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf, the son of immigrants, said the team will announce in coming weeks new initiatives addressing social justice issues.
Vikings quarterback Trevor Siemian, left, ran drills alongside quarterback Kirk Cousins during a mandatory Vikings three-day minicamp in Eagan on Wedn

Backing up Cousins, Siemian's value can't be overstated

Only once in Mike Zimmer's four seasons as Vikings coach — and only twice in this decade — has the team had a quarterback start all 16 regular-season games.
Vikings running back Latavius Murray underwent ankle surgery last offseason. This spring, he can actually concentrate on football.

No more frustration: Murray on field instead of sidelines this spring

Running back Latavius Murray spent all of the offseason last year rehabilitating after ankle surgery and didn't play until the team's third preseason game.
Dalvin Cook took to the field for practice on Tuesday.

Getting close: Cook gets running back, wide receiver work at practice

When he is ready to return from the injury that ended his rookie season, Dalvin Cook is excited to step into "the offense that I've always wanted to be in."
Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.

DeFilippo and Cousins: A melding of the minds comes to the Vikings

In John DeFilippo — the former Eagles quarterbacks coach who accepted the Vikings' offensive coordinator job hours after the Super Bowl parade — the Vikings appear to have a kindred spirit to QB Kirk Cousins.
Anthony Barr (55).

Barr explains his absence from last week's Vikings workouts

Because of his uncertain contract status, Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr said he needed to take out an insurance policy to provide financial cover against injury.
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.
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