Before blowing the first whistle at the start of this weekend’s rookie minicamp, the Vikings on Friday morning announced that seven of their eight draft picks had signed contracts.
The lone exception? Wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, their first-round selection.
The former Mississippi star still is participating in the minicamp after signing an injury protection agreement. And he didn’t seem too concerned about his lack of a contract.
“It’ll be done,” Treadwell said. “Got a good agent and just waiting for the go-ahead.”
Under the current collective bargaining agreement, contracts for draft picks are now mostly cookie-cutter, so there is probably nothing to worry about with Treadwell.
Coach Mike Zimmer said Treadwell’s contract situation “is not my worry.” But after getting his first look at Treadwell on the Winter Park practice fields, he liked what he saw from him.
“It was really a low-key thing, but he is quick and sudden, catches the ball well,” he said.
Treadwell left the afternoon session because of an apparent leg injury but returned to practice.
Sixth-round draft pick Moritz Boehringer, the wide receiver from Germany, is participating in the rookie minicamp after scrambling to obtain a work visa once he signed his rookie contract Monday. On Friday, he often lined up on the opposite side of the formation from Treadwell.
Now that Boehringer is in the building, Zimmer made it clear that he wants Boehringer, who has been a media darling since being drafted, to focus on being a football player, not a celebrity.
“I’ve given him a hard time already about being on TV shows and stuff like that,” Zimmer said. “It’s football now and it’s time to work. The feel-good story is over.”
Testing new arms
The Vikings had two quarterbacks on the field. One was former North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams, who was participating in the rookie minicamp as a tryout. The other was Joel Stave of Wisconsin, who was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent.
Stave, who threw for 7,635 yards and 48 touchdowns at the NCAA level, joined the Vikings because he felt coordinator Norv Turner’s passing attack was similar to Wisconsin’s.
“It’s pretty consistent with what I was doing in college. Obviously, there is a lot of new terminology to learn. But I like the way they coach here,” Stave said. “And I know they keep three quarterbacks on the roster, and that will give me an opportunity to earn a spot.”
Showing no fear
Some NFL teams are now reluctant to push players at rookie minicamps out of fear that a high draft pick will suffer a major injury like Dante Fowler, the top pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2015, did at his rookie minicamp last spring. The Vikings are not one of those teams.
“I understand that some teams are not doing anything, but I don’t think you can be scared,” Zimmer said. “You have to do what you want to do, and I like watching them on the field in practice. We are going to continue to do that and hope we don’t get anybody hurt.”