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.


Greenway gets five-year extension

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Vikings defense, Adrian Peterson, Chad Greenway, Leslie Frazier, Sidney Rice, Tyrell Johnson, Visanthe Shiancoe Updated: September 5, 2011 - 5:25 PM

Vikings strong-side linebacker Chad Greenway has signed a new five-year deal worth what's believed to be $41 million with $20 million guaranteed. That means the team will have this year's franchise player through 2015 and can now turn its attention to a long-term deal for running back Adrian Peterson.

"I'm very excited to be able to continue my career as a Vikings," said Greenway, 28. "This organization has been nothing but top notch since I walked in the door."

Greenway said a deal was agreed on a few days ago, but he waited to sign it until returning to practice today.

"Now, we can just go play football," Greenway said.

Greenway has led the Vikings in tackles the past three season. By placing the franchise tag on him this summer, the Vikings were willing to attach a salary cap number of $10.9 million on Greenway.

"Chad has been an instrumental part of our success," coach Leslie Frazier said. "He's a guy who has improved every year that he's been a part of our defense. I'm glad the contract is behind him and now he'll be able to focus on the task at hand, and that's helping us have a great season. I'm very, very thankful to know he's going to be here for awhile."

Now that Greenway's contract is finished, Frazier says the Vikings will be able to have serious talks with Peterson, who is certainly next in line for an extension.  Peterson is making $10.72 million in the final year of his rookie contract.

Other highlights from today:

  • Frazier announced Jamarca Sanford will be the starting strong safety, beating out Tyrell Johnson for that job. He said Johnson will continue to rotate in throughout the game. "Jamarca will take the first rotation and we'll let it play out from there," Frazier said. 
  •  On the No. 2 QB competition, Frazier said, "we're going to work through some things this week, but we're thinking Christian [Ponder] may end up being in that No. 2 QB spot and we're going to see how we want to use Joe in this game."
  • Frazier said Patrick Brown is the first offensive tackle off the bench and Seth Olsen would be the first guard off the bench.
  • It was a short, non-padded practice, but all 53 players on the roster participated. That includes tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, who missed all four preseason games with a hamstring injury. "I'm 100 percent and ready to go," Shiancoe siad.
  • Backup MLB Jasper Brinkley, who's on injured reserve after having right hip surgery a week ago, was on the sideline on crutches. He said the surgery was performed in Colorado last Tuesday. He said it wasn't microfracture surgery, which is what Sidney Rice had last year. Brinkley said he's expected to be 100 percent by the start of next season.
  • TE Allen Reisner cleared waivers and, as expected, was added to the practice squad.

 

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