The Vikings begin reporting to the first training camp July 24 at the TCO Performance Center in Eagan. The first full-team practice is July 28. Check here for new details on tickets, parking and times.
Before then, the Star Tribune will take a look at each position group. Thursday: Receivers
On the 90-man roster: 12 receivers
Locks: Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Laquon Treadwell
Good bets: Kendall Wright, Stacy Coley
On the bubble: Brandon Zylstra, Tavarres King, Korey Robertson
Practice squad candidates: Chad Beebe, Jeff Badet, Jake Wieneke
Suspended: Cayleb Jones (4 games)
(+) Signed ex-Bears receiver Kendall Wright to a one-year, $1 million deal with $400,000 guaranteed. … Signed CFL-leading receiver Brandon Zylstra to a boilerplate three-year deal, guaranteeing him $275,000. … Signed ex-Giants receiver Tavarres King to a one-year minimum deal. … Signed four UDFAs in Robertson, Beebe, Badet and Wieneke.
(-) Jarius Wright was cut in March and signed with the Panthers on a three-year, $7.5 million deal. … The Vikings let Michael Floyd’s contract expire. He remains unsigned.
The change for 2018 revolves around the Vikings’ star receiving duo of Thielen and Diggs. The middle class at receiver was gutted with money flowing to the quarterback and star defenders. With Wright and Floyd gone, Thielen and Diggs will see turnover on the bench behind them. Both top receivers will also catch passes from their fourth different quarterback in four years in an offense orchestrated by their third different coordinator since 2015. The Vikings invested minimal guarantees to acquire Kendall Wright and Brandon Zylstra, both of whom could be on the Week 1 roster, along with Treadwell and Coley returning.
Diggs is entering his contract season. If he isn’t re-signed before free agency, he’d easily be one of the league’s most coveted targets. That’s why extending Diggs is a focus for the Vikings this summer, prior to a potential-filled season with Kirk Cousins under center.
Thielen is entering the second season of a four-year deal that runs through 2020.
Will the Vikings secure one of the league’s top receiving duos? Locking up Diggs, with Thielen under contract through 2020, would give Minnesota a top skill group for seasons to come. The question is at what cost? Jarvis Landry just got $34 million guaranteed at signing on a five-year deal with the Browns. Davante Adams got $18 million guaranteed up front in December on a four-year extension in Green Bay. Both players average at least $14 million per season. Another domino could fall if Diggs gets paid in Minnesota: Will Thielen’s camp understandably ask for a restructure given he’s one of the league’s most underpaid players?
“For me, I don’t really focus on the numbers. I’m happy for the guys that get paid around the league,” Diggs said. “These are men that have been playing football for their whole life. As far as them securing something for their kids and stuff like that, it’s very special, so I like to congratulate guys every chance I get. As far as my particular situation, I want my resume to speak for itself. It will figure itself out.”
What you should know
Thielen, the Vikings’ first 1,000-yard receiver since Sidney Rice in 2009, was given last year’s Korey Stringer Good Guy Award by the Twin Cities chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America. The award annually honors the Vikings player who best displays professionalism, cooperation and sense of humor with reporters.
8 — Stefon Diggs’ eight touchdown catches last season tied for the most by a Viking receiver since 2004, when Randy Moss (13) and Nate Burleson (9) both eclipsed that number. The Vikings finally have the receiving talent again for double-digit scorers; do they now have the passer and the system?
Receiver No. 3 — Treadwell looked leaner as he ran through spring drills as the primary No. 3 receiver for Kirk Cousins. Time will tell if veteran Kendall Wright sees top reps in camp after he learned the offense catching passes from Trevor Siemian in OTAs. Also keep an eye on second-year receiver Stacy Coley, who was seeing some first-team reps this spring before suffering an injury in practice.