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.


Vikings tender RB Matt Asiata

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated: March 5, 2014 - 3:59 PM

The Vikings tendered running back Matt Asiata, who was an exclusive rights free agent, on Wednesday. Asiata will receive the third-year veteran minimum salary at $570,000, according to his agent Ken Vierra. The deadline to tender Asiata was at the start of free agency on Tuesday.

His contract is not guaranteed, but Asiata will get a chance to compete as Adrian Peterson’s backup in training camp. Running back Toby Gerhart, who was the backup running back last season, is an unrestricted free agent and unlikely to return to Minnesota.

Asiata received his first career start last season in Week 15 against the Eagles and recorded a career-high three touchdowns. He also had his first career 100-yard rushing game in the season finale against the Lions. Asiata had 14 carries for 115 yards.

He played just 11 games last season due to a shoulder injury. Asiata also played a key role on special teams, Vierra thinks Asiata can become productive on offense under offensive coordinator Norv Turner.

“I think it’s a good situation for him,” Vierra said.

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