It’s become something of a training camp tradition that the Vikings try to lock up one of their core players with a contract extension. They continued the tradition Tuesday morning.
The team has signed wide receiver Stefon Diggs to a five-year contract extension on Tuesday, retaining another one of its core players that was scheduled to hit free agency in March. Diggs’ deal is expected to be worth around $14 million a season, according to an NFL source, which would put his deal in line with recent contracts the Green Bay Packers gave Davante Adams and the Chicago Bears gave Allen Robinson.
Diggs caught eight touchdowns last season, tying him for the team lead with Kyle Rudolph. He finished second in catches (64) and receiving yards (849) while playing 14 games, and his game-winning touchdown in the Vikings’ playoff victory over the New Orleans Saints -- known since then as the “Minneapolis Miracle” -- vaulted him into national conversation.
With Diggs’ deal, the Vikings have only linebacker Anthony Barr left among their key free-agents-to-be. They’ve finalized deals with Everson Griffen, Linval Joseph, Xavier Rhodes, Eric Kendricks, Danielle Hunter and Diggs since last July.
Some parameters of Diggs' deal are identical to the ones Hunter got earlier this summer: $72 million in new money over five years, with a $15 million signing bonus and a base of $1.907 million base, according to a league source. His cap hit goes up by $3 million this year, with an average of $14.4 million in new money.
The deal also raises the question of how the Vikings will approach Adam Thielen in years to come. Thielen signed a three-year extension before last season that included $11 million in guaranteed money, but the deal is well below market value for a player who earned second-team All-Pro honors after catching 91 passes for 1,276 yards last season.
Thielen’s contract expires after the 2020 season, though the Vikings could look to rework it before then.