Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Posts about Vikings off the field

Vikings set 2014 season ticket prices for TCF Bank Stadium

Posted by: Chris Miller Updated: January 9, 2014 - 4:46 PM

The Vikings have released season ticket prices for 2014 at TCF Bank Stadium on their website.

Top season ticket price is $1,390 for 10 games ($139 per game), up slightly from last year's $1,197 for nine games ($133). Lowest season ticket price is $350 ($35 per game), up from last season's $279 ($31 per game).  Season ticket packages include preseason games. The Vikings played one "home" game last year in London, which was not on the season ticket package.

The capacity of the Metrodome was 64,121.  The capacity of TCF Bank Stadium is listed at 50,085, although the Vikings plan to add bleachers to the open end of the stadium.

Vikings retain former state chief justice, U.S. attorney to complete review

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated: January 3, 2014 - 2:11 PM

The Vikings have called in former Chief Justice of Minnesota Supreme Court Eric Magnuson and former U.S. Department of Justice Trial Attorney Chris Madel to lead the investigation into former punter Chris Kluwe’s allegations released on Thursday.

“It is extremely important for the Vikings organization to react immediately and comprehensively with an independent review of these allegations,” said Vikings Owner Mark Wilf in a press release.

Madel led the high-profile investigation of the Fiesta Bowl committee in Phoenix, Ariz. and has been named Minnesota Lawyer’s “Attorney of the Year” for the last three years.

The investigation is already underway and will include interviews with current and former members of the Vikings organization.

“This is a highly sensitive matter that we as an organization will address with integrity,” said Vikings Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Warren in a press release. “Eric and Chris have stellar reputations in both the local and national legal community. They have handled numerous cases involving a wide range of issues, and we are confident they will move swiftly and fairly in completing this investigation.”

Vikings' Simpson pleads guilty, avoids jail time

Posted by: Chris Miller Updated: January 2, 2014 - 4:24 PM

Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson avoided jail time today after pleading guilty to careless driving and third-degree DWI.

A third charge, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, was dropped.

Simpson was sentenced just for the careless driving misdemeanor, and the third-degree DWI (refusal to submit to a chemical test) was stayed.

Simpson was ordered to do 120 hours of community service in public schools instead of serving 15 days in the workhouse. He also must attend alcohol seminars. He is on probation for one year and cannot have any of the same or similar offenses.

If he violates the terms of his probation, he would likely end up back in court and face a stronger sentence.

Simpson was arrested in Minneapolis on Nov. 9 after a state trooper responded to a stalled car blocking lanes on Interstate 394 out of downtown Minneapolis.

Simpson, 27, was arrested after he exited his Dodge Charger when a trooper arrived at the stalled car. He showed signs of intoxication and flunked a field sobriety test. Simpson denied he was drinking and said he was coming from the Pourhouse, which is in the Lumber Exchange Building on S. 5th Street in downtown Minneapolis.

When Simpson signed with the Vikings in 2012, he was dealing with the repercussions of a three-game suspension by the NFL stemming from a drug arrest and was in the first year of three years’ probation ordered by a Kentucky judge. In April 2012, Simpson was sentenced in Kentucky to 15 days in jail and put on probation for three years, along with 200 hours of community service. He originally was charged there on March 1, 2012, with felony charges after marijuana was shipped to his home in Kentucky. In a plea agreement, authorities agreed that Simpson apparently wanted the marijuana for his own use, and that of his friends. Simpson’s punishment stemmed from a September 2011 crime in which authorities intercepted a package containing 2.5 pounds of marijuana on its way to his house. Police later searched Simpson’s home in northern Kentucky and found six more pounds of marijuana plus drug paraphernalia.

Simpson likely faces a suspension from the NFL for the latest charges.  He is an unrestricted free agent.

Leslie Frazier could join Lovie Smith in Tampa

Posted by: Chip Scoggins Updated: January 1, 2014 - 8:54 PM

Former Vikings coach Leslie Frazier might not be out of work very long. A league source said there's a "good chance" that Frazier will become Lovie Smith's defensive coordinator with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Multiple media outlets are reporting tonight that the Bucs have hired Smith as their new head coach. Jason La Canfora of CBSSports first reported that Smith likely will bring Frazier with him as his defensive coordinator. A source confirmed that possibility. The move would make sense, considering their background with the Tampa 2 defense.

Meanwhile, the Vikings will interview Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn on Saturday, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Vikings announce all-Metrodome team

Posted by: Chip Scoggins Updated: December 12, 2013 - 2:56 PM

With only two games left in the Metrodome, the Vikings announced their all-Mall of America Field team on Thursday.

The team was chosen by fan voting over the past month and recognizes the "greatest Vikings to play in the stadium." The team consists of 27 current and former players -- 12 offensive players, 11 defensive players and four special teamers, as well as the head coach. The team will be honored during halftime of Sunday's game against Philadelphia.

Here is the team:

OFFENSE

PLAYER               POS.             YEARS

Daunte Culpepper... QB........... 1999-05

Adrian Peterson....... RB........... 2007-13

Robert Smith........... RB........... 1993-00

Anthony Carter....... WR........... 1985-93

Cris Carter.............. WR........... 1990-01

Randy Moss........... WR...... 1998-04,’10

Steve Jordan............ TE........... 1982-94

Tim Irwin..................... T........... 1981-93

Gary Zimmerman....... T........... 1986-92

Steve Hutchinson...... G........... 2006-11

Randall McDaniel...... G........... 1988-99

Matt Birk..................... C........... 1998-08

DEFENSE

PLAYER               POS.             YEARS

Jared Allen............... DE........... 2008-13

Chris Doleman......... DE...... 1985-93,’99

John Randle............. DT........... 1990-00

Kevin Williams......... DT........... 2003-13

Chad Greenway....... LB........... 2006-13

Ed McDaniel............. LB........... 1992-01

Scott Studwell.......... LB........... 1977-90

Carl Lee................... CB........... 1983-93

Antoine Winfield....... CB........... 2004-12

Robert Griffith............ S........... 1994-01

Joey Browner............. S........... 1983-91

SPECIAL TEAMS

PLAYER               POS.             YEARS

Percy Harvin........... RS........... 2009-12

Chris Kluwe................ P........... 2005-12

Ryan Longwell............ K........... 2006-11

Chris Walsh.............. ST........... 1994-02

HEAD COACH

Dennis Green ........................... 1992-01

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