Chris Tomasson / St. Paul Pioneer Press
EAGAN — The Vikings ranked No. 1 in the NFL in scoring defense and total defense last season. Their next task is to maintain such dominant defense for years to come. The Vikings' defense looks to be in great shape for next season, but there might be might be some questions after that. That's one reason why this year's draft, which runs Thursday through Saturday in Arlington, Texas, carries so much importance.
EAGAN, Minn.—Minnesota Vikings linebacker Kentrell Brothers has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2018 regular season for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances, the league announced Friday, April 20. Brothers is eligible to participate in all offseason activities and preseason practices and games. Brothers will be eligible to return Sept. 28, the day after Minnesota's fourth game — against the Rams in Los Angeles.
The Vikings will open the season Sept. 9 against the San Francisco 49ers at U.S. Bank Stadium, the NFL announced Thursday. It will mark the second time four years and the eighth time overall the Vikings will open with the 49ers. The game will start at noon and be broadcast by Fox. Minnesota’s first road game will be Sept. 16 at Green Bay.
EAGAN, Minn. — When legendary Vikings coach Bud Grant had lunch this week with Kirk Cousins, he noticed the recently signed quarterback never stopped smiling. "It seems like he's a very happy camper," Grant said. "He got what, $28 million guaranteed per year?" In March, Cousins signed a fully guaranteed three-year, $84 million contract. He had lunch Tuesday with Grant, 90, and Star Tribune columnist Sid Hartman, 98, at the TCO Performance Center in Eagan and tweeted a photo of the gathering to his Instagram account.
EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings' biggest need entering next week's NFL draft is on the offensive line, but that doesn't necessarily mean they will address it in the first round. The Vikings have the No. 30 pick in the April 26-28 draft. They need to replace retired starter Joe Berger at right guard, and it seems to be a good draft for guards. So they will snatch one up at the earliest opportunity, right? Not necessarily.
EAGAN, Minn.—The Vikings might have found their No. 3 wide receiver. Minnesota on Friday signed Kendall Wright, a free agent who played last season for Chicago. Taken with the No. 20 pick in the first round by Tennessee in 2012, the slot receiver has 339 catches for 3,858 yards in six NFL seasons, including 94 receptions for 1,079 yards with the Titans in 2013.
Cornerback Marcus Sherels is re-signing with the Vikings on a one-year contract, a source said Wednesday. Sherels will be back for a ninth season. He has been a top special-teams performer for Minnesota, returning both punts and kickoffs. Sherels last season averaged 9.5 yards on punt returns and 24.6 on kickoff returns. He was second in the NFL in punt-return average in 2013 with a 15.2 average and in 2016 with a 13.9 average. Monetary terms were not immediately available. Sherels had a $2 million salary-cap number last season.
SUWANEE, Ga.—On Jan. 22, Vikings hall of fame defensive end Chris Doleman was playing golf near his Atlanta-area home and looking forward to returning to the Twin Cities the following week to attend the Super Bowl. Soon, his entire life changed. Doleman had a runny nose that day on the golf course and there was some drippage coming out of the left side of his mouth. He thought it might just be hay fever when he went to the doctor to get it checked out. His condition was far worse than Doleman, 56, could have imagined.
EAGAN, Minn.—Offensive lineman Joe Berger announced Friday, March 23, he will retire from the NFL after 13 seasons, the past seven with the Vikings. The move was not a surprise. Berger, 35, had told the Pioneer Press last December he expected to retire after the season. After a possible change in heart he did decide to field some offers when he became a free agent, but then a source told the Pioneer Press last week he again was "leaning toward retirement."
EAGAN, Minn.—Tom Compton is coming home and will be reunited with Kirk Cousins. The free-agent offensive lineman, a Rosemount native, signed Thursday with the Vikings. He flew in from Chicago, where he spent last season with the Bears, and the move was official once he passed his physical. "He's very, very excited," said Compton's mother, Karen Compton.