Terence Newman will be 40 in September, and with James Harrison retiring, Newman will be the oldest defensive player in the NFL in 2018.
He’s ready to hand that title to someone else after this season.
Newman, who re-signed with the Vikings on Monday, said the 2018 season — his 16th in the league and his fourth with the club — will be his last in the NFL.
“I’m getting to a point where you’ve got to figure out something else that you want to do, once you get to my age,” he said Tuesday. “I think this will be my last year, no matter what happens. This will be it for me.”
The defensive back played all 16 games and started seven last year, while splitting time at the nickel corner spot with Mackensie Alexander.
The fact Newman remained unsigned until April 30 wasn’t because of any second thoughts on his part about playing this season, he said. Rather, it took some time for Newman to get a deal done for 2018, and he added he had a “situation at home” that required his attention. Newman would not discuss the situation any further but said it was resolved now.
He returned to the team’s facility Monday for the start of offseason workouts, as the Vikings prepare to add first-round pick Mike Hughes to a defensive back group that includes four other former first-rounders (Harrison Smith, Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes and Newman) and a second-rounder.
That, coupled with the Vikings’ offseason moves to add quarterback Kirk Cousins and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, had Newman hopeful about the team’s chances to capture the prize that so far has eluded him.
“Super Bowls: That’s what’s important to me,” Newman said. “We had a good team last year, and the things they did in the draft and free agency, obviously on paper, we got better. You would hope, once you see the actual games, that yes, the team did get better, you know? The only way to really tell if this team did get better is to win games. [Going] 13-3, that was cool, but that’s over. You have to go out and prove it again.”
He hopes to head into retirement after holding up his first Lombardi Trophy in Atlanta this February, but either way, Newman said he knows it’s time.
“I’ve got options, so that’s good,” Newman said. “Who says I’ll do anything immediately after football? I may take my time and do some things I haven’t done in the last 15, 16 years. I’ll take my time and make a decision when I’m ready, I guess. I really haven’t looked too far ahead, but I’ll definitely take the time and figure that out.
“After 15 years, I’ve soaked up about as much as I can. I’ll be along for a heck of a ride, and it’s been a heck of a ride. I understand when it’s time for me, and it’s time for me. I’m not going to put any onus and do anything special. I’m going to go out and do the same things I’ve always done, and that’s go out and try to get better, and help this team get better.”
In announcing their coaching staff for the 2018 season, the Vikings gave new roles to two assistant coaches and added one more coach to their staff.
Drew Petzing, who had been the team’s assistant wide receivers coach, will now be the assistant quarterbacks coach under Kevin Stefanski. Defensive assistant Jeff Howard will add assistant defensive backs coach to his title, while Ellis Hill joins the staff as an assistant strength and conditioning coach.