Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: Kalil signs ... then keeps signing

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 27, 2012 - 1:09 PM

MANKATO - Christian Ponder sure seems dedicated to proving he'll do just about anything to help the team. On Thursday, the day the Vikings reported to training camp at Minnesota State University, the second-year quarterback hung back in the Twin Cities until the early afternoon, waiting for a key passenger in his carpool.

That buddy -- rookie left tackle Matt Kalil -- first needed clearance before heading for Mankato.

But as the finishing details were being typed into Kalil's first contract -- a four-year deal likely worth around $20 million -- Ponder sprung into action, picking Kalil up at the airport, driving him directly to Winter Park to sign the paperwork, and then pointing their joyride south on Hwy. 169.

"Yeah, I call Christian up any time and he picks me up and takes me places," Kalil joked as he checked into Gage Hall.

Not that Ponder wasn't lobbying for more than just some added pocket protection. He also wanted it noted that Kalil's agent, Tom Condon, wasn't the only one instrumental in finishing the deal.

"If Tom Condon takes 3 percent of his contract, I should take at least a half a percent," Ponder said.

Anyway you spin it, Vikings fans can breathe a sigh of relief.

The team's new standout left tackle is in camp. On time. Without missing so much as a meeting, something coach Leslie Frazier asserted was "a big deal."

And that wasn't the only development Thursday that had exuberance levels high.

Another bullet dodged: Five weeks after requesting a trade and hinting his punctual arrival at training camp wasn't a given, receiver Percy Harvin checked in with no drama.

Adrian Peterson also arrived, exuding his usual gusto and vowing to return to practice as soon as the medical staff will clear him.

"I'm going to lobby to get out there and be involved some," Peterson said. "To what extent I don't know. But I feel like I can participate a little bit."

Getting well fast

Peterson likely will start camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list, a designation that can be removed at any time before the regular season starts. That means his early activity would come on the side, supervised by head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman.

Peterson, who had surgery after a serious left knee injury suffered on Christmas Eve, understood that was the most likely scenario but was still vowing to fight deep into Thursday night for his right to practice soon if not immediately.

"To be honest with you, I'm going to try to fight against [the PUP list] so I can get out there and be involved," he said. "But I know these guys are going to do what's best for this team."

In the big picture, even as the Vikings wisely use caution with Peterson, it's remarkable how far he has come in his recovery. Monday will mark seven months since the surgery. And yet the star running back diagnosed himself Thursday as "full-go."

"I'm pretty much doing everything," he said. "Cutting. Running. Jumping. It's different when you put pads on and you have guys diving at your legs and you're making these second cuts based off the instincts of the game. So that aspect I haven't really had a lot to practice with. And that's really what I want."

Peterson's spirits won't likely be questioned at any time during camp, his needle permanently stuck on "Cheery and Optimistic." The same can't be said definitively for Harvin, who likely will undergo a requisite mood check with reporters Friday.

Upon checking into camp Thursday, Harvin didn't stop to talk. Which left Frazier to again publicly address the melodrama from June.

Frazier indicated he talked to Harvin several times in the past month, even bumping into him by surprise this week at Dick's Sports Barbers in Eden Prairie and leaving with the feeling that "all is good."

"[Our chairs] weren't right next to each other," Frazier said. "But we pulled them closer so we could be close to each other."

Key development

Frazier said he has made it clear he wants Harvin to remain a team leader and "be the Percy that we all know." Which means that distractions like last month's mini-controversy won't easily be tolerated.

Said Frazier: "If he can continue to be that person that his teammates can trust and can count on and do the things he has done for us in the past, I won't see any problems with Percy. Because we know that he loves the game. He has a passion for the game. He wants to bring a championship to Minnesota. And when that's the case, we can all work towards the same common goal."

Right now, one of the biggest goals the Vikings have is to establish chemistry within a young team and hopefully plant the seeds for a long-term rise. The formula calls for talent plus continuity plus dedication.

That's why Harvin's on-time arrival was key; why Peterson's improving health will be watched closely; and why Ponder's concern for Kalil -- complete with chauffeur duties -- had a certain charm.

"That's what is so exciting about this team," Ponder said. "We're so young. And a lot of us could be together for a long time."

A long time starts with three weeks in Mankato.

Dan Wiederer • dan.wiederer@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 2 FINAL
St. Louis 5
Washington 9 FINAL
Atlanta 8
Miami 5 FINAL
Boston 3
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 1
Baltimore 4 FINAL
Toronto 5
Detroit - LP: J. Mantiply 4 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: C. Torres 5
Cincinnati 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 2
Los Angeles 10 FINAL
Milwaukee 1
San Francisco 12 FINAL
Texas 3
Chicago WSox 0 FINAL
San Diego 5
Kansas City 11 FINAL
Cleveland 9
Seattle 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 7
Colorado 0 FINAL
LA Angels 3
Oakland 7 FINAL
Arizona 2
Pittsburgh 3 Bottom 8th Inning
NY Yankees 0
Chicago 84 FINAL
Indiana 98
Sacramento 114 FINAL
Orlando 119
Utah 89 FINAL
Philadelphia 83
Miami 97 FINAL
Washington 99
Toronto 94 FINAL
Charlotte 103
Cleveland 88 4th Qtr 4:17
Atlanta 102
Boston 82 4th Qtr 8:21
New Orleans 73
Detroit 69 4th Qtr
Houston 80
LA Lakers 79 4th Qtr 9:06
Memphis 69
Phoenix 67 3rd Qtr 1:43
Brooklyn 72
Denver 60 3rd Qtr
San Antonio 65
Dallas 9:30 PM
Golden State
Columbus 3 FINAL
New Jersey 2
Minnesota 3 FINAL
Carolina 1
Buffalo 2 3rd Prd 7:46
Ottawa 3
Calgary 4 3rd Prd 7:39
Detroit 2
Edmonton 1 2nd Prd 10:02
Chicago 0
Pittsburgh 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Longwood 68 FINAL
Char Southern 60
Ark-Pine Bluff 94 FINAL
Miss Valley St 75
Southern Ill 45 FINAL
Wichita State 56
Winthrop 67 FINAL
Radford 66
Evansville 67 FINAL
Illinois State 71
Towson 69 FINAL
Elon 74
Gardner-Webb 72 FINAL
High Point 71
Samford 76 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 81
Northern Ill 71 FINAL
Ball State 67
Bowling Green 75 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Brown 69 FINAL
Dartmouth 75
Toledo 59 FINAL
Eastern Mich 85
Akron 77 FINAL
Kent State 79
Ill-Chicago 72 FINAL
Oakland 69
Miami-Ohio 65 FINAL
Ohio 95
Columbia 46 FINAL
Penn 54
Cornell 53 FINAL
Princeton 66
Central Mich 62 FINAL
Western Mich 74
Bradley 46 FINAL
Northern Iowa 71
Morehead State 77 FINAL
Murray State 80
Yale 47 2nd Half 2:22
Harvard 41
Furman 47 2nd Half 15:11
Citadel 32
Coll of Charleston 24 2nd Half
Drexel 29
UNC-Asheville 31 2nd Half
Coastal Carolina 27
Texas Tech 33 2nd Half
Baylor 32
Pacific 28 2nd Half
San Francisco 28
Loyola-Chicago 7 1st Half 15:03
Indiana State 5
Detroit 5 1st Half 15:46
Cleveland State 10
Belmont 9:15 PM
Eastern Ky
Loyola Marymount 10:30 PM
Santa Clara
Chicago 9:00 PM
Los Angeles
Saint Louis 63 FINAL
(21) George Washington 77
Wake Forest 68 FINAL
(16) Duke 77
Furman 55 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 68
Monmouth 61 FINAL
Quinnipiac 82
Michigan State 60 FINAL
(4) Maryland 70
Belmont 65 FINAL
UT Martin 71
Arkansas 36 FINAL
(3) South Carolina 58
Mercer 56 FINAL
East Tenn St 66
Richmond 45 FINAL
Fordham 46
Miami-Florida 61 FINAL
(2) Notre Dame 77
Siena 61 FINAL
Iona 71
Washington St 48 FINAL
(9) Arizona State 67
Ark-Pine Bluff 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 51
(23) Rutgers 57 FINAL
(24) Northwestern 62
Tennessee St 71 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 59
Loyola Marymount 50 FINAL
Gonzaga 70
(18) Texas A&M 65 FINAL
LSU 71
Cincinnati 76 FINAL
UCF 66
Saint Josephs 61 FINAL
Dayton 80
UCLA 62 FINAL
(19) Stanford 67
Santa Clara 42 FINAL
San Diego 51
Virginia Tech 43 FINAL
(7) Florida State 82
SMU 59 FINAL
Memphis 71
Lehigh 75 FINAL
Holy Cross 62
Rhode Island 53 FINAL
Duquesne 66
North Florida 35 FINAL
(20) Fla Gulf Coast 74
Kennesaw St 54 FINAL
Jacksonville 55
USC Upstate 45 FINAL
Northern Ky 64
Lipscomb 69 FINAL
Stetson 92
Nebraska 65 FINAL
(14) Iowa 74
Saint Peters 57 FINAL
Marist 62
Navy 60 FINAL
Bucknell 49
Lafayette 56 FINAL
American Univ 79
Colgate 45 FINAL
Army 48
Georgia 41 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 75
Dartmouth 71 FINAL
Brown 53
Penn 50 FINAL
Columbia 34
(13) Princeton 70 FINAL
Cornell 37
Kansas 49 FINAL
Kansas State 57
Harvard 68 FINAL
Yale 63
(15) North Carolina 47 2nd Half 11:43
(10) Louisville 42
San Jose St 92 2nd Half 3:34
UNLV 91
Houston 16 2nd Half 15:50
Tulane 36
Utah State 38 1st Half 1:57
Colorado State 37
Colorado 30 1st Half 2:12
(8) Oregon State 30
New Mexico 30 2nd Half
Wyoming 28
Minnesota 15 1st Half 11:30
Ohio State 14
(12) Kentucky 16 1st Half 11:55
(11) Miss State 24
San Diego State 6 1st Half 16:39
Nevada 4
Niagara 8 1st Half 12:31
Fairfield 15
Texas Tech 4 1st Half 15:42
West Virginia 2
Boise State 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Washington 10:30 PM
California

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question

Countdown to great deals

Bid March 15-23

    ADVERTISEMENT

    ADVERTISEMENT

    ADVERTISEMENT

    ADVERTISEMENT

    Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

    ADVERTISEMENT

     
    Close