Staff Directory 6134708

Ben Goessling

Sports reporter | Vikings

Ben Goessling covers the Vikings for the Star Tribune. He has covered the team since 2012, and has previously covered the Twins, Wild, Washington Nationals and prep sports.

After graduating from Apple Valley High School, Goessling majored in accounting and journalism at the University of Minnesota. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two daughters. He coaches high school track and field and cross country, plays electric guitar and enjoys volunteering at Hope Academy in the Phillips neighborhood.
Recent content from Ben Goessling
The Vikings will welcome fans back to training camp in late July.

Vikings' training camp plans include charging for some practices

For the first time, the team will charge for tickets to four practices, including a U.S. Bank Stadium scrimmage on Aug. 7 for up to 20,000 fans.
Kevin Williams, in 2013

Kevin Williams shocked by being picked for Vikings' Ring of Honor

The former Vikings defenive tackle wore John Randle's number, so he knew he had to be good.
Eric Kendricks jokes with Anthony Barr (55) during minicamp.

Vikings minicamp: Eric Kendricks shines on Day 2

The linebacker intercepted Kirk Cousins during an 11-on-11 drill, and broke up a Kellen Mond pass in 7-on-7. Here are five observations from today's workouts.
Vikings assistant head coach Andre Patterson talks with defensive linemen Sheldon Richardson (9) and Danielle Hunter (99) at Tuesday’s minicamp.

Sheldon Richardson calls return to the Vikings a 'perfect fit'

The defensive tackle got $3 million in guaranteed money from Minnesota on a one-year deal that reunites him with coach Andre Patterson.
Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter in 2019.

Hunter reports to Vikings minicamp after agreeing to new contract

The Vikings and star defensive end Danielle Hunter have resolved the issue of the pass rusher's unhappiness with his current deal.
Sorting out changes along the offensive line alongside tackle Brian O’Neill (75) is but one of the areas the Vikings will be working on during their

Four major story lines to sort out as the Vikings begin minicamp

Danielle Hunter's status and changes in the secondary are among the team's top stories to watch this week at the team's mandatory minicamp.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins at practice Wednesday.

Cousins looped in on plan to draft QB, promises to be 'open book' for Mond

Kirk Cousins spent his offseason studying every game from his own career, and wants to help Kellen Mond the way Cousins was helped as a rookie.
Wide receiver Blake Proehl is getting $115,000 in guaranteed money from the Vikings.

Vikings guaranteed $345,000 to 2021 undrafted free agents

The total amount of guaranteed money is substantially less than the team gave to its undefeated rookies last year.
Anthony Barr, left, and Dakota Dozier wear soft-shell helmets designed to reduce the impact of collisions during workouts.

Vikings turn out for workouts, talking of 'building chemistry'

Most of the roster reported for the start of voluntary workouts despite the players association's recommendation that players skip them.
Vikings rookie defensive end Janarius Robinson, left, has similar physical traits to Danielle Hunter.

Vikings' young pass rushers have big job ahead reviving defensive line

Rookies Patrick Jones, Janarius Robinson and Jaylen Twyman will be asked to help fix one of the team's problems during 2020.
Gophers junior sprinter Amira Young

How did Gophers sprinter Amira Young break the team's 46-year-old 200-meter record?

Young's detailed approach, from start to finish, brought the sustained speed she needed, and she'll look for more at the Big Ten championships.
The Gophers’ Noah Burton has the Big Ten’s fourth fastest time in the 400-meter hurdles.

Big Ten Track and Field Championships at a glance

The Gophers men's and women's teams have several standouts to watch heading into the three-day meet in Champaign, Ill.
Mike Hughes

Vikings trade former first-round cornerback Hughes to Kansas City

Trading Mike Hughes to the Chiefs will save the Vikings about $1.825 million in cap space; they'll keep the final $1.314 million of Hughes' signing bonus on their 2021 books.
The Vikings open the 2021 season on the road, but hit US Bank Stadium in Week 3 vs. Seattle

A closer look: Game-by-game guide to the Vikings 2021 schedule

From opening-game reunions to a closing stretch that includes a Sunday night in January at Lambeau Field, here's a road map through the expanded 17-game schedule.
A Vikings fan went shirtless for much of the team’s game at Lambeau Field on December 24, 2016.

More Vikings schedule dates: Dallas for Halloween, Packers at Lambeau in January

Pieces of the 2021 Vikings schedule are falling into place, with the official released scheduled for 7 p.m. They'll open at Cincinnati, face a tough November and visit Green Bay on a Sunday night.
Kellen Mond may not pose an immediate threat to Kirk Cousins’ starting QB job, but his salary could have an impact down the road.

Vikings don't have a quarterback controversy, but the clock is ticking

With NFL teams impatient about their investments in quarterbacks, money will play a significant factor in any transition from Kirk Cousins to Kellen Mond.
Mike Hughes of the Vikings broke up a pass intended for Detroit’s Kenny Golladay in a game at Ford Field in 2019.

Vikings decline fifth-year option on Hughes

Injuries have plagued Mike Hughes, the 2018 first-round pick, throughout his first three years in Minnesota
Vikings draft pick Patrick Jones II, right, in 2019.

Five questions facing the Vikings after the NFL draft

Developing pass rushers might be the team's biggest remaining task after the draft. And more thoughts on what drafting Kellen Mond means to Kirk Cousins.
At 6-4 and 315 pounds, guard Wyatt Davis, a third-round pick by the Vikings, personifies the type of offensive lineman coach Mike Zimmer values.

Hoping bigger is better, Vikings bulk up along O-line during NFL draft

Building an offensive line that can accommodate both facets of the Vikings' offense is a tall order, which is perhaps why their latest efforts to remake the group seem to follow an even more precise set of standards.
Janarius Robinson (left), Camryn Bynum (cnter) and Kene Nwangwu were taken by the Vikings in the fourth round.

Vikings' fourth-round draft haul: Kick returner, cornerback, defensive end

Running back Kene Nwangwu of Iowa State earned all-Big 12 honorable mention as a kick returner in 2016 and 2020. He figures to start his Vikings career as a special teams player.
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf with first-round draft pick Christian Darrisaw on Friday.

'Ultimate warrior' Darrisaw ready to take off again, this time with Vikings

Little about offensive lineman Christian Darrisaw's path to the NFL has been conventional. Yet he's navigated it with surprisingly few setbacks.
New Vikings quarterback Kellen Mond

Get to know the Vikings' third-round draft picks

The Vikings took a quarterback with their first pick Friday, but the defense got attention too on the second day of the NFL draft
Christian Darrisaw

Vikings keep investing in offensive line with Darrisaw. Will it work?

in recent years, the Vikings' philosophy about building their line has changed significantly. Whether it's a winning strategy remains to be seen.
A Minnesota Vikings fan, left, holds a team jersey as an image of Christian Darrisaw is shown on stage at the draft in Cleveland.

Vikings take offensive tackle Darrisaw after trade with Jets nets added pick

The Vikings knew they were taking a risk by moving down nine spots in the first round, but were still able to get Christian Darrisaw while adding two picks in tonight's third round.
Randy Moss and Dennis Green after the 1998 draft

Podcast: Reusse, Goessling, Scoggins share favorite Vikings draft tales

Our writers have stories about former coaches Bud Grant and Denny Green, as well as an interesting road trip taken to see a top prospect.
Offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker of USC (left) and defensive lineman Kwity Paye of Michigan  are draft targets for the Vikings.

Vikings' draft needs are clear. Which line will win out?

The team has holes to fill on its offensive and defensive lines with only one pick in the first two rounds.
Will these players become Vikings? (Clockwise from top left): OT Christian Darrisaw of Virginia Tech, DB Jalen Johnson of Indiana, K Evan McPherson of

Ten picks and trades: Our seven-round 2021 Vikings mock draft

Football writer Ben Goessling projects how the team will navigate through the NFL draft, including trades that would alter the picks as they currently stand.
Kwity Paye, left.

Draft preview: How early will the Vikings address their defensive line?

The team hasn't picked a lineman before the third round in the Mike Zimmer era, but could use another pass rusher.
Rashawn Slater

Draft preview: Offensive line may be the Vikings' biggest need yet again

The Vikings have taken an offensive lineman in the first two rounds each of the past three years, and now they need to find their next left tackle after losing Riley Reiff.
clearer direction Rashod Bateman’s numbers posted before scouts at his pro day carry more weight than statistics from an interrupted final season at

Former Gophers receiver Bateman's draft prospects rising

Rashod Bateman is on track to be a first-round pick, despite an uneven finish during a difficult year to end his career at the U.
Alabama defensive back Patrick Surtain, left.

Draft preview: Yes, Vikings might need even more defensive backs

The Vikings made a series of moves to help the secondary this offseason, but the group's long-term picture remains unclear.
Vikings players participate in organized team activities during the 2018 offseason.

Vikings players say 'many of us' won't attend offseason workouts

The fate of the league's offseason program has been a topic of discussion between the NFL and the players union over the past several months
Andre Patterson

Vikings promote Patterson to assistant head coach

The team announced what are expected to be the final changes to their 2021 coaching staff. Andre Patterson's promotion follows his move from defensive line coach to co-defensive coordinator last year.
Michael Pierce at his first video conference as a Viking in 2021 on Wednesday.

A year after signing, Pierce prepares to join Vikings on the field

The team's free agent prize of 2020 opted out of the season because of COVID-19 and got 'an early snapshot of retirement.'
Rashod Bateman sprinted in front of NFL scouts at the Gophers pro day on Thursday at the Athletes Village.

Bateman flashes speed for NFL scouts at Gophers pro day

The wide receiver ran the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds, according to the Gophers, with 31 NFL teams watching.
Dakota Dozier

Vikings re-sign starting left guard Dakota Dozier

The 29-year-old played his first five seasons with the New York Jets.
Adam Thielen worked for extra yardage vs. the Chargers in 2019.

Schedule expanded for 1st time in 44 years, Vikings add game with Chargers

The NFL Players Association agreed to a 17-game season as soon as 2021 as part of the 2020 collective bargaining agreement. The 2021 schedule comes out in late April.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins spoke with Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers at the end of the Vikings’ 39-10 win in 2019

NFL approving 17th game means Vikings visit Chargers in 2021

The Vikings will visit the Chargers for the second time in three years as part of the league's new schedule
Vikings' secondary overhaul gives them options for 2021

Vikings' secondary overhaul gives them options for 2021

Patrick Peterson, Mackensie Alexander and Xavier Woods should give the Vikings the experience and depth they lacked.
Cowboys free safety Xavier Woods during a game in Cincinnati in December.

Shoring up defense, Vikings will sign former Cowboys safety Xavier Woods

The former Cowboys safety comes to the team on a one-year deal worth up to $2.25 million.
Mason Cole (52) celebrated a touchdown with Christian Kirk (13) for Arizona in October.

Vikings acquire offensive lineman Cole from Cardinals

The team sent a sixth-round draft pick to Arizona for Mason Cole, who started 14 games at center last season. He could play guard for the Vikings.
Anthony Barr sacked Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill in a 2018 game.

Barr's restructured deal puts Vikings in position for several more moves

When the Vikings restructured linebacker Anthony Barr's contract last week, they arranged the deal to clear even more salary cap space than was previously reported.
Cornerback Patrick Peterson with the Cardinals during the 2020 season.

New cornerback Peterson, Vikings betting on each other in 2021

Veteran Patrick Peterson, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, said working with Mike Zimmer drew him to Minnesota after two seasons that didn't match expectations.
Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman and chairman Zygi Wilf

Vikings bank on NFL bounceback of salary cap

With financial effects of the pandemic lingering, the Vikings are trying to hold the line until they can reap benefits of the next NFL salary cap hike.
Patrick Peterson intercepts a pass in the end zone intended for Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham during a game in December, 2019. Peterson has agree

Vikings add veteran Pro Bowl cornerback Peterson to shore up secondary

Patrick Peterson, a 10-year veteran who had spent his whole career with the Cardinals, joins a young secondary on a team in dire dire need of experience.
Giants nose tackle Dalvin Tomlinson sacked  Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton during a Week 17 game.

Vikings salary cap FAQ: Signing bonus conversions, voidable years, more

The Vikings are using some more unusual financial maneuvers (at least for them) to navigate a tight salary cap situation for the 2021 season. Let's review.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer with defensive tackle Shamar Stephen.

After adding to defensive line, Vikings release Stephen

With new defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson in the fold, the team said goodbye to Shamar Stephen, clearing $3.75 million in salary cap space.
The Vikings signed former Giants tackle Dalvin Tomlinson (94) on Monday night to what is reportedly a two-year, $22 million deal.

Vikings add defensive tackle Tomlinson as free agency begins

For the third time in eight offseasons under coach Mike Zimmer, the Vikings' first move in free agency is adding a run-stopping defensive tackle.
Anthony Barr is finalizing a restructured deal that will keep him in Minnesota for 2021

Source: Vikings restructuring Barr's contract, voiding final years of deal

Linebacker Anthony Barr would become a free agent after next season, in a deal that saves the Vikings salary cap space
Vikings punter Britton Colquitt.

Vikings save $1.3M by restructuring punter Colquitt's contract

Two days after cutting kicker Dan Bailey to save salary cap space, GM Rick Spielman said Britton Colquitt will play for the veteran minimum salary in 2021.
Vikings offensive tackle Riley Reiff

Vikings release left tackle Reiff in cost-cutting move

The NFL set the 2021 salary cap at $182.5 million per team, or $15.7 million lower than last year. The Vikings then cut Riley Reiff in a move that saved them more than $11 million in cap space
Stephen Weatherly before a September 2018 game at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Weatherly on return to Vikings: 'Never let complacency set in again'

The defensive end is back in Minnesota with a new sense of motivation after a year with the Panthers.
Marc Richards and Sam Walczak

Can they win the big one? Minnesota team in finals of NFL 'Big Data Bowl.'

The team, including three friends from St. Olaf College, has won $15,000 for a presentation on identifying defensive coverages and evaluating player performance.
Dalvin Cook is letting others do the running this offseason.

Vikings' Cook tries out team ownership, but fans call the shots

The star running back is a part-owner of a team in Fan Controlled Football, the latest start-up league trying to capture attention in the NFL offseason.
Paul Guenther was the Bengals defensive coordinator in 2017.

Guenther reunites with Zimmer to build up Vikings defense

Paul Guenther, the team's new senior defensive assistant, coach worked with Mike Zimmer on Marvin Lewis' staff in Cincinnati.
Paul Guenther in 2019, when he was the Raiders’ defensive coordinator. He was fired in December.

Vikings are hiring Paul Guenther as senior defensive assistant

Guenther replaced Mike Zimmer as the Bengals' defensive coordinator after Zimmer became the Vikings coach in 2014.
Vikings hire former receiver Martin Nance as chief marketing officer

Vikings hire former receiver Martin Nance as chief marketing officer

Nance played with the Vikings in 2006 and '07, then earned business degrees at Michigan and Harvard.
Klint Kubiak (right) watched a practice with his father Gary last year.

Klint Kubiak is planning to leave his own mark on the Vikings' offense

As he did last year when choosing Gary Kubiak to replace Kevin Stefanski as offensive coordinator, coach Mike Zimmer prioritized continuity on offense with his choice.
Klint Kubiak, left, with Kirk Cousins at practice in September.

Vikings will promote Klint Kubiak to offensive coordinator, sources say

The former quarterbacks coach replaces his father Gary, who retired last month, and will be the team's sixth play-caller in seven seasons.
Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes

Super Bowl quarterbacks turn coaches' innovation into execution

Kansas City and Tampa Bay's commitment to the quarterbacks begins in the simplest way possible: the frequency with which they put the game in those players' hands.
Alabama defensive backs coach Karl Scott.

Vikings expected to hire Alabama's Karl Scott as DB coach

Scott, who'd worked for Nick Saban the past three years, would replace Daronte Jones.
Vikings team president Mark Wilf, left, chairman Zygi Wilf, center, and general manager Rick Spielman.

Vikings might need to cut more than $12 million of cap space

The salary cap for 2021 could be lower because of empty stadiums — and lost revenue — due to COVID-19
Jaguars wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell in 2018.

Vikings are expected to add McCardell to coaching staff

The team's staff for 2021 is starting to take shape, with former NFL player Keenan McCardell likely to be the new wide receiver coach.
Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is optimistic for the future: “We’ve got guys that can light the field up.”

Vikings' Dalvin Cook is already back in the gym to build off his big year

Of his All-Pro snub, the running back says, "I don't know how I didn't make the list."
Vikings defensive backs coach Daronte Jones spent one year in Minnesota after replacing Jerry Gray.

Vikings lose DB coach Daronte Jones to LSU

Players and coaches praised the job Jones did after replacing Jerry Gray in 2020, leading a secondary with four rookies in the midst of a pandemic that wiped out the NFL's offseason program.
Gary Kubiak worked with quarterback Kirk Cousins last season during an early-season practice.

Kubiak retiring; Vikings getting 6th offensive coordinator in six years

The Vikings are expected to go through a formal interview process, but Kubiak's son is thought to be a top contender to get the job.
George Paton

George Paton leaving Vikings to be Broncos' general manager

The assistant GM was a popular candidate for NFL jobs in recent years and is widely respected for his scouting acumen.
Justin Jefferson (18)

Rookie receiver Jefferson named to All-Pro second team

After his record-breaking season, Justin Jefferson is the first Vikings rookie to earn All-Pro honors since Cordarrelle Patterson in 2013.
Kyle Rudolph

Vikings roster analysis: Who's in? Who's out?

With little salary-cap flexibility, the Vikings face tough questions at tight end, offensive line and linebacker after a 7-9 season.
Vikings assistant general manager George Paton

Vikings' Paton attracting plenty of interest in GM searches

Vikings assistant general manager George Paton will interview with the Lions today, and has interest from several other teams
Mike Zimmer wants to fix a couple of areas, come back in 2021 “with a vengeance.”

Zimmer's look at 2020 Vikings centers on defensive injuries, offensive consistency

In short, the Vikings might go into next season betting they can return to the playoffs simply with a better-executed version of the approach they took in 2020.
The Vikings finished fourth in total offense this season with Gary Kubiak calling the plays.

Kubiak's future is key offseason question for Vikings

Offensive coordinator job has had a lot of turnover.
Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler was injured vs. the Chicago Bears in Week 15.

Under Zimmer, Vikings have needed good health to reach the playoffs

Two players who stood out, two concerns for the team, two trends to watch and one big question after the season-ending 37-35 win over the Lions.
Minnesota Vikings running back Mike Boone (23) dives forecextra yard in the second half against the Detroit Lions during an NFL football game, Saturda

Vikings end mediocre season with win: 'We just weren't good enough'

"Maybe it's the best we could have done," Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said after Minnesota finished the season 7-9 and out of the playoffs.
Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen and Irv Smith Jr. had reasons to dance the last time the Vikings played the Lions.

Ben Goessling's Vikings-Lions prediction

There'll be plenty of players missing from Sunday's game in Detroit, but Kirk Cousins and his receivers could have a big day against a feeble Lions defense.