Report: Safety Harrison Smith Inks New Deal to Make Him Highest-Paid Safety

Harrison Smith

Vikings have agreed to a contract extension with safety Harrison Smith on Monday morning, making the 2016 Pro Bowler the highest-paid safety in the league, Ben Goessling of ESPN.com reports.

Smith will earn $51.25 million over the next five years, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, including a $10 million signing bonus. Smith will get $15.27 million guaranteed over the course of the contract, the source said.

The 2012 first-round pick made his first Pro Bowl in 2016, a year after he tied for third in the NFL with five interceptions. Smith also had three sacks in 2014, and had established himself as one of the fixtures of Mike Zimmer’s defense.

General manager Rick Spielman said earlier this offseason that he expected an extension for Smith would be coming soon, and Smith had said he hoped to get a deal done with the Vikings in the near future.

The 27-year-old, whom the Vikings selected out of Notre Dame with the 29th pick in the 2012 draft, already holds a team record with four interception returns for touchdowns.

Vikings RB Peterson Feels the Vikings are Poised to Win the Super Bowl

Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson believes the Minnesota Vikings have a chance to win the Super Bowl this season, Peter King of MMQB reports.

“We are going to have a good chance to win it this year — win everything,” Peterson said. “Sit back and watch. Sit back and watch. You can be like, ‘I thought you guys were at least a couple of years away.’ Nope. You sit back and watch, this year.”

“I am pushing myself to the max to win a Super Bowl, and then to break Emmitt’s record and Eric Dickerson’s [single-season rushing] record. It is my everyday life, what I think of every day. Mostly it’s that Super Bowl. Then the whole world will remember you.”

The odds seem to be against the Vikings, as a Nigerian bookmaker has them at 18 to 1 to win Super Bowl LI, to be played on February 5th in Houston, Texas.

The Vikings had a successful 2015 season in terms of coming on and winning the NFC South, but a bad miss of a chip-shot field goal in the Wild Card loss to the Seahawks by Blair Walsh has a bad taste still in the mouth of many fans.

The team has plenty of work to do before the start of the 2016 season, and Peterson having a breakout season like a few years back would go a long way in the team having a legit shot to reach the Super Bowl.

The Vikings New Home – U.S. Bank Stadium – Is 90 Percent Complete

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The Vikings new digs are coming along nicely, and reports say are now about 90 percent complete.

Work on U.S. Bank Stadium is ongoing, and the stadium will be ready to go when the the team takes the field at the new stadium for the first time in August.

The price of the new stadium is north of $1 billion.

Team, stadium and construction officials led reporters on a tour Tuesday, revealing about two-thirds of the 65,000 purple seats installed and much of the space finished in the six club areas.

The Vikings locker room will be put together in the coming weeks. The five, large pivoting glass doors on the building’s front will be tested in April. The artificial turf will be laid in May.

Vikings vs Falcons NFL Week 12 Capsule

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (7-3) AT ATLANTA FALCONS (6-4)

SERIES

VIKINGS FALCONS
SERIES LEADER 16-10  
STREAKS   2 of past 3
COACHES VS. OPP. Mike Zimmer: 1-0 Dan Quinn: 0-0
LAST WEEK L 30-13 vs. Packers L 24-21 vs. Colts
LAST GAME 9/28/14: Falcons 28 at Vikings 41. Minnesota RB Matt Asiata rushes for 78 yards & 3 TDs. Vikings WR Jarius Wright has 8 receptions for 132 yards.
LAST GAME AT SITE 11/27/11: Falcons 24, Vikings 14. Atlanta QB Matt Ryan throws for 262 yards & 3 TDs. Falcons WR Roddy White has 10 receptions for 120 yards & TD.
REFEREE Clete Blakeman
BROADCAST FOX (1:00 PM ET): Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver (field reporter). Westwood One: Tom McCarthy, Ross Tucker. SIRIUS: 108 (Min.), 82 (Atl.). XM: 82 (Atl.).

STATS

PASSING Bridgewater: 188-291-2106-8-6-86.6 Ryan: 264-403-2982 (2C)-15-10-89.6
RUSHING Peterson: 208-1006 (1L)-4.8-6 (T3L) Freeman: 167-764-4.6-9 (1L)
RECEIVING Diggs (R): 36-573-15.9-2 Jones: 89 (1L)-1189 (1L)-13.4-6
OFFENSE 330.0 399.5 (3C)
TAKE/GIVE +1 -1
DEFENSE 334.9 335.7
SACKS Griffen: 6.5 (T3C) 4 tied: 2
INTs Newman: 2 4 tied: 2
PUNTING Locke: 41.7 Bosher: 48.7 (1C)
KICKING Walsh: 83 (17/20 PAT; 22/26 FG) Bryant: 68 (26/26 PAT; 14/18 FG)

NOTES

VIKINGS: QB TEDDY BRIDGEWATER won only start vs. Atl, passing for 317 yards with 98.9 rating & rushing for TD…RB ADRIAN PETERSON made NFL debut vs. Atl (9/9/07) & rushed for 103 yards. Since entering NFL in 2007, leads league with 11,196 rush yards & 92 rush TDs. Aims for 4th in row with rush TD…TE KYLE RUDOLPH had 6 catches for 106 yards & TD last week, 1st career 100-yard game. WR STEFON DIGGS leads NFC rookies with 573 rec. yards. In 7 games, has 36 catches for 573 yards (81.9 per game) & 2 TDs. In last meeting, WR JARIUS WRIGHT had career-high 8 catches & 132 yards. Since 2009, WR MIKE WALLACE is 1 of 2 in NFL with 6,000+ rec. yards (6,152), 45+ rec. TDs (48) & 15+ rec. avg. (15.3)…DE EVERSON GRIFFEN had sack in last meeting in Atl. Has 16.5 sacks in his past 21. DT LINVAL JOSEPH has 26 tackles, 0.5 sack & FF in past 3. LB ANTHONY BARR had sack in last meeting. S HARRISON SMITH had INT in last game vs. Atl…FALCONS: QB MATT RYAN aims for 3rd in row vs. Min with 3+ TD passes. Has 106.5 rating in past 2 meetings. In career, is 42-17 (.712) at home with 96.1 rating…RB DEVONTA FREEMAN leads NFC with 11 TDs (9 rush, 2 rec.). In past 8 (1st 8 career starts), has 1,078 scrimmage yards (134.8 per game) & 10 TDs (8 rush, 2 rec.). FB PATRICK DI MARCO had career-high 2 rec. TDs last week…WR JULIO JONES leads NFL with 89 catches, tied for most in team’s 1st 10 games in NFL history. Has 121 catches for 1,802 yards (128.7 per game) & 8 TDs in past 14. Jones (1,189) & Freeman (1,184) lead NFL in scrimmage yards. WR RODDY WHITE has 14 catches for 193 yards (96.5 per game) & 2 TDs in past 2 vs. Min & aims for 3rd meeting in row with TD…CB DESMOND TRUFANT had 1st career sack last week. Has 42 PD since entering NFL in 2013, most on club. S RICARDO ALLEN had INT last week. LB PAUL WORRILOW leads team with 62 tackles. Has INT in 2 of past 4 games.

Vikings Place LB Cole on IR; Ink Veteran LB Jason Trusnik

St. Louis Rams v Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings added some needed experience to their linebacker corps Tuesday by signing nine-year veteran Jason Trusnik, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press reports.

To make room on the roster, Minnesota placed linebacker Audie Cole on season-ending injured reserve. Cole suffered a fractured right ankle in Sunday’s 21-18 overtime victory over St. Louis.

Before signing Trusnik, waived just before the start of the season by Carolina, 10-year man Chad Greenway was the only Vikings linebacker with more than two years experience. Others on the roster are second-year men Anthony Barr and Brandon Watts and rookies Eric Kendricks and Edmond Robinson.

Trusnik, 31, has played in 109 career NFL games, including 24 starts, with the New York Jets, Cleveland and Miami and was with Carolina or training camp this summer.

During the 2012-13 seasons, when the 6-foot-4, 241-pound Trusnik was with the Dolphins, Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards was his position coach.

Vikings Get to 6-2 After Topping Rams in OT 21-18

The Vikings just keep seeming to find ways to win, as Sunday at home the team overcame the loss of QB Teddy Bridgewater, topping the St.Louis Rams in overtime 21-18 to improve to 6-2 on the year.

The win combined with the loss by the Packers in Carolina means the Vikings sit tied for first halfway through the 2015 campaign.

The overtime win was set up when Marcus Sherels took back a punt 26 yards after Rams punter Johnny Hekker boomed a 63-yard punt.

Adrian Peterson ran the ball well into kicker Blair Walsh’s range to give the Vikings their seventh straight win at home. The kicker hit a 40-yard winner.

Peterson rushed for 125 yards on 29 carries. As for Bridgewater, he left with a concussion early in the fourth quarter after an illegal hit by Rams cornerback Lamarcus Joyner.

Former Rams backup Shaun Hill took Bridgewater’s spot, and finished 13 for 21 for 144 yards.

The Vikings were able to survive as Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein missed from 48 yards out with 1:45 left in regulation, this after at one point hitting a 61-yard kick early in the game.

He was able to push the game into OT when a pass interference penalty on rookie cornerback Trae Waynes gave them a first down at the Vikings’ 35-yard line.

The kicker hit from 53 yards to send the game to overtime.

The Vikings D stepped up, playing well against Rams QB Nick Foles, holding him to 18-for-33 for 168 yards. Todd Gurley ran for 89 yards and a score for the Rams.

Nine different Vikings caught passes in the win. The Vikings were outgained 320 to 293, but they got the big yards when they needed to in order to get the win.

Next week the Vikings have a tough game, as they will play in Oakland vs the Raiders.

Vikings LB Eric Kendricks Out for Game Sunday vs St.Louis

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Vikings middle linebacker Eric Kendricks will miss the game against St. Louis on Sunday because of a rib injury, the Associated Press reports.

The Vikings ruled Kendricks out on Friday. Outside linebacker Anthony Barr is listed as questionable with back injury and defensive tackle Shariff Floyd (knee) will miss another game, leaving the Vikings with a banged-up defense to face Rams rookie running back Todd Gurley.

Barr was able to practice on Friday, making it likely he will be on the field against the Rams.

Audie Cole will get the start in place of Kendricks, who was named NFC defensive rookie of the month in October. The second-round draft pick out of UCLA quickly supplanted Gerald Hodges in the starting lineup, allowing the Vikings to trade Hodges to San Francisco during the bye week.

Vikings at Bears NFL Week 8 Inactives

Vikings inactives: QB Taylor Heinicke, LB Audie Cole, C Nick Easton, DT Sharrif Floyd, OT Jeremiah Sirles, TE Rhett Ellison, DT Justin Trattou

Bears inactives: CB Terrance Mitchell, EB Ka’Deem Carey, LB Shea McClellan, C Hroniss Grasu, OT Jermon Bushrod, DT Bruce Gaston, WR Cameron Meredith

NFL Week Eight Preview – Minnesota at Chicago

Chicago Bears v Minnesota Vikings

The 4-2 Minnesota Vikings will look to stay in the race in the NFC North on Sunday as they travel to Chicago to take on Jay Cutler and the 2-4 Chicago Bears.

Minnesota has been playing well, they are looking for their third straight win for the first time in three seasons. They topped the Lions last Sunday 28-19, their first road win in the NFC North in nine chances.

The Vikings D seems to be getting better, as in the win over Detroit it was their fifth game limiting opponents to no more than 20 points. Minnesota is tied with Denver at 17.0 points per game allowed.

”This team is very hungry. We work our tails off,” cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said. “From Monday to Sunday, we’re always working. We’re always in the lab trying to get better.”

Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater also appears to be making strides. In his first three games he only threw for 505 yards and one touchdown, but since he’s thrown for 834 and four scores.

A big reason to Bridgewaters’s success is the play of youngster Stefon Diggs, who has 19 catches for 324 yards. Diggs caught his first touchdown against the Lions while hauling in six of his nine targets for 108 yards.

“I was preparing myself since day one, and I knew I was going to have to sharpen my blade when I wasn’t getting any game time,” Diggs told the team’s official website.

“You’ve still got to work hard, no matter what, and when my time came, I knew I was going to take advantage of my opportunity.”

Look for the Vikings D to try and pressure Cutler, forcing him to make his usual quota of mistakes. When Cutler gets comfortable in the pocket, he’s at his best. The Vikings D line has to make sure to not allow that to happen.

Another weapon the Vikings need to stop is Matt Forte. The Chicago back has had 244 touches in the Bears’ last 11 games against the Vikings and hasn’t scored on any of them, and the Vikings need to keep it that way.

The Vikings are on a roll right now, and can’t look past their NFC North rivals. Look for a hard fought game in the Windy City, but for the Vikings to make one more play to secure their 5th win of the year.

Minnesota 26 Chicago 23

Fantasy Projections:

Minnesota– Teddy Bridgewater 179 yards 1 TD, Adrian Peterson 139 yards rushing 2 TD’s, Stefon Diggs 78 yards receiving 1 TD
Chicago – Jay Culter 256 yards 1 TD, Matt Forte 81 yards 1 TD, Alshon Jeffrey 70 yards receiving 1 TD

There are tons of great games and cash prizes this week in the NFL – get into the game with great one day fantasy leagues that can get you paid the next day – play now!

Vikings at Bears Wednesday Injury Report

MINNESOTA VIKINGS
 
Practice Report
  DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
  Wednesday LB Audie Cole (finger), DT Sharrif Floyd (knee, ankle), RB Adrian Peterson (hip, finger, ankle), DE Justin Trattou (foot), WR Jarius Wright (concussion)
 
  LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
  Wednesday TE Rhett Ellison (concussion), RB Zach Line (neck), WR Adam Thielen (ankle)
 
  FULL PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
  Wednesday DT Tom Johnson (knee)
 
CHICAGO BEARS
 
Practice Report
  DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
  Wednesday DT Bruce Gaston (illness), LB Shea McClellin (knee)
 
  LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
  Wednesday T Jermon Bushrod (shoulder), C Hroniss Grasu (neck), G Patrick Omameh (ankle), S Antrel Rolle (ankle), G Matt Slauson (knee, shoulder)