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Access Vikings

Breaking news and year-round coverage of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings. Access Vikings is the Star Tribune's blog covering team news, rumors, games and all things purple.

Former Vikings receiver Wright headed to Panthers

Former Vikings receiver Jarius Wright is headed to the Carolina Panthers, a league source confirmed to the Star Tribune.

The former 2012 fourth-round pick left the Vikings as one of the longest tenured players. Wright, who was cut Friday, appeared in 83 games, including four playoff games during which he caught nine passes for 129 yards. The Vikings saved $2.64 million in cap space by releasing him.

Wright, 28, was a productive slot receiver, catching 66.5 percent of his targets for 2,168 yards and 10 touchdowns during six seasons.

“Jarius is not only a very good football player, but a tremendous person,” general manager Rick Spielman said. “Tried to see if we could make it still work, but understanding sometimes the business side takes over.”

The Panthers get Wright on a reported two-year deal worth up to $3.5 million in the first season, according to NFL Media. He rejoins Norv Turner, his former offensive coordinator in Minnesota, and former teammates Matt Kalil and Captain Munnerlyn.

Report: Vikings to open season with Thursday night rematch in Philly

The Vikings’ last game of the 2017 season was in Philadelphia, where they’ll return to kick off the 2018 regular season, according to a report from 94WIP radio in Philadelphia.

There’s little surprise the NFL would want to air the rematch of the NFC Conference Championship in a marquee spot — the 2018 opener on Thursday, Sept. 6 — after the Vikings added this offseason’s top free agency prize in quarterback Kirk Cousins. The Vikings were shellacked by the eventual Super Bowl-champion Eagles, losing 38-7 in January, but now have a 4,000-yard thrower in the fold.

The Vikings also added defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson on a one-year, $8 million contract last week. The move helps Minnesota keep up in the defensive line arms race with the Eagles, who added Michael Bennett and Haloti Ngata to its defensive line after free agency opened last week.

The Eagles will also return quarterback Carson Wentz to the lineup after he suffered a torn ACL late last season.

Additional storylines will come off the field after Vikings fans and family of players reported harassment from Eagles fans during the previous trip to Philadelphia. Six people were arrested that day, according to local media reports; three for selling fake tickets and one for punching a police horse.

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