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Vikings running back Adrian Peterson

Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune file

Peterson: 'Right now, I'm just happy for Chad'

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG and KENT YOUNGBLOOD
  • Star Tribune staff writers
  • September 6, 2011 - 6:27 AM

One long-term contract down, one to go.

Right, Adrian Peterson?

(Laughter.)

"Right now, I'm just happy for Chad [Greenway]," said Peterson, referring to the Vikings and Greenway agreeing to a five-year, $41 million deal that includes $20 million guaranteed. "He's a great player. He pushes me, man, he makes me better. So to know that he's here is definitely great for this organization."

The Vikings made Greenway's contract their first priority in part because they faced a Sept. 20 league- imposed deadline for ending negotiations with franchise players. But there's an even bigger payday coming for Peterson, who is set to make $10.72 million entering the last year of his contract.

The starting point for Peterson's deal is believed to be $30 million guaranteed. That's based on the six-year, $53.5 million deal Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson signed last week.

"I'm just focusing in on the season," Peterson said. "I'm just having the mentality that everything else will take care of itself. So, I'm not worried about the contract talk, this that or the other."

Peterson said he'll leave the negotiating to his agent, Ben Dogra, and Rob Brzezinski, Vikings vice president of football operations.

"I'll let those guys do their job," Peterson said. "And I'll do mine."

Ponder No. 2 for now

It wasn't a ringing endorsement or a commitment beyond this week, but coach Leslie Frazier said rookie Christian Ponder will be the No. 2 quarterback when the Vikings open the season in San Diego on Sunday.

"We're going to work through some things this week, but we're thinking Christian may end up being in that No. 2 QB spot," Frazier said. "And we're going to see how we want to use Joe [Webb] in this game."

Webb has the athleticism and speed to line up some as a receiver or run a Wildcat formation.

"It is a big day," Ponder said. "It's definitely what I was shooting for when I saw Donovan [McNabb] was coming in and I wouldn't be starting. It was important for me to secure that spot. Now I have to keep it."

Sanford will start, but ...

Jamarca Sanford has won the starting strong safety job, but Frazier said runner-up finisher Tyrell Johnson will still be used in a rotation schedule that's yet to be determined.

"Jamarca will take the first rotation and we'll let it play out from there," Frazier said.

Young linemen impress

The Vikings have five backup offensive line. All are between ages 23 and 25. And they have a combined one NFL regular-season start.

"We just felt with the guys we were able to keep, they'd done enough in training camp that they gained our confidence that they could do it in regular season games," Frazier said. "Chris [DeGeare] is on our practice squad. I'm sure Ryan [Cook] is going to get picked up [he did by Miami] because he's a very good player. But we just felt like the guys that we kept were ready to step in and play and help us."

Frazier said second-year players Pat Brown and Seth Olsen would be the first tackle and guard off the bench, respectively. Brown has never played in an NFL regular-season game. Olsen played in three games with the Broncos in 2009.

Etc.

• Re-signed to the Vikings' practice squad were: DeGeare, fullbacks Ryan D'Imperio and Matt Asiata, receivers Emmanuel Arceneaux and Stephen Burton, tight end Allen Reisner, running back Caleb King and defensive end Cedric McKinley.

• Thursday's practice was short and without pads, but all 53 players on the roster participated in the small portion of practice open to the media. That included tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, who missed the entire preseason because of a hamstring injury. "I'm 100 percent and ready to go," Shiancoe said.

• Linebacker Jasper Brinkley, on injured reserve after having right hip surgery in Colorado a week ago, was on the sideline on crutches for Monday's practice. He said he didn't have the more serious microfracture surgery and that he's been told he'll be 100 percent by next season.

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