Free Agency-Vikings Capsule
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LB Anthony Barr, DT Sheldon Richardson, RB Latavius Murray, CB/PR Marcus Sherels, K Dan Bailey, DT Tom Johnson, G Tom Compton, G Nick Easton, WR Aldrick Robinson, QB...
Spielman: Vikings pick up 2020 option on Zimmer’s contract
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have exercised their option on coach Mike Zimmer's contract for 2020.
General manager Rick Spielman made the announcement in Indianapolis at the NFL...
Vikes add Kubiak as assistant head coach, offensive adviser
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have hired Gary Kubiak as an assistant head coach and offensive adviser, a big bump in experience for Mike Zimmer's turned-over staff.
The Vikings announced the move on Monday night.
Kubiak spent the last two seasons as a senior personnel adviser with the Denver Broncos after stepping down as their head coach due to health concerns. Zimmer picked Kevin Stefanski to be his offensive coordinator, his first time in that role.
Vikings keep Kevin Stefanski as offensive coordinator
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota's offense since coach Mike Zimmer was hired has frequently lacked the scoring punch to keep up with the rest of the league.
Coincidentally or not, continuity has been missing, too.
With Barr set high, pass-rushing Vikings hitting stride on D
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have hit their familiar stride on defense during the second half of the season, after some uncharacteristic earlier struggles.
There's been no better example of this lately than Anthony Barr.
"He's always been a good player," coach Mike Zimmer said. "I think he's probably taking it to another level right now."
Vikings QB Cousins takes OC DeFilippo firing ‘personally’
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — When the Minnesota Vikings went all-in on Kirk Cousins as their long-sought franchise player last spring, they paired him with a new offensive coordinator considered to be part of the current wave of up-and-coming quarterback developers and innovative play-callers putting a strong imprint on the NFL.
The partnership with John DeFilippo that had so much potential lasted nine months.
Vikings fire OC DeFilippo after another flat performance
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings, still seeking to salvage a season that started with Super Bowl designs, made a last-ditch move to capture a mid-December spark by firing offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.
Playoff stakes high as Vikings travel to Seahawks
SEATTLE (AP) — With where both the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks sit in the NFC standings, Monday night's matchup might as well carry a playoff title.
NFC play-in game? NFC elimination game?
"I think going on the road with that crowd and the type of football team that they are, I think yeah, a little bit. These next four games will determine what we do and where we go and how we perform in the clutch. Yeah, I guess you could say that," Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said.
Middling Minnesota: Vikings hit final stretch, not in stride
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — Though one quarter of the regular season remains for the Minnesota Vikings to finish strong, none of their biggest tests have so far revealed a team playing like the championship contender it was built to be.
The Vikings still have a better-than-average chance of returning to the playoffs, but for all the individual standouts on this roster there has not been enough collective evidence in 2018 that this is more than simply a better-than-average squad.
On prove-it deal, Richardson giving Vikings plenty of value
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings had just secured their new quarterback with the splash move of the NFL's offseason. Coach Mike Zimmer was busy working on addressing another area that needed an upgrade.
When Vikes visit Pats, Rhodes has ‘good chance’ of playing
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — Xavier Rhodes was trailing Green Bay's Davante Adams in coverage along the sideline late in the fourth quarter last week. Aaron Rodgers let the ball fly and Minnesota's best cornerback raced to catch up.
Vikings reach halfway point with daunting stretch ahead
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings hit their stride last year well before midseason, using an eight-game winning streak to build a 13-3 record for the second seed in the NFC.
This year, the second half of the season is going to be much more difficult.
Vikings rule Barr, Compton, Cook, Sendejo out vs. Saints
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have ruled our four injured starters against New Orleans, linebacker Anthony Barr (hamstring), left guard Tom Compton (knee), running back Dalvin Cook (hamstring) and strong safety Andrew Sendejo (groin).
Left tackle Riley Reiff (foot) was listed as doubtful after being held out of practice Friday. Cornerback Xavier Rhodes (foot) and nose tackle Linval Joseph (ankle/knee) were listed as questionable for Sunday.
Vikings ease Griffen in, unsure if he plays against Saints
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — Everson Griffen was back at practice with the Minnesota Vikings for the first time in almost six weeks, a significant point of progress in returning to his spot at right defensive end and re-establishing his pass-rushing and run-stopping skills in a game setting for the NFC North leaders.
Order restored for Vikings defense, after 3rd straight win
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings sputtered into the second quarter of their season after a concerning and humbling performance by their well-decorated defense in Los Angeles, raising questions about whether this team was still among the NFL's elite and in contention for the Super Bowl.
Sure, that game came against the thriving Rams, the league's only unbeaten team behind an offense that has been borderline-unstoppable.
Cousins, Murray lift Vikings past Darnold, Jets 37-17
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Mike Zimmer gathered his team around him in a victorious locker room and let them in on what they just accomplished.
The Minnesota Vikings, he told them, had never defeated the Jets on the road — until Sunday. Kirk Cousins and the rest of his teammates broke out in big cheers to celebrate a 37-17 win.
Thielen it: Vikings star on record-setting receiving pace
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — Last week during team drills with the Minnesota Vikings, Adam Thielen stretched out his body and dived to try to catch an off-target pass.
Thielen immediately questioned aloud the wisdom of his decision to risk pain when ultimately the completion didn't matter. Thielen, though, couldn't resist. There's hardly a ball in the air he doesn't believe he can grab, and this is anything but blind faith.
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Vikings lose rising star rookie CB Mike Hughes to torn ACL
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mike Hughes has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, ending a promising rookie season after six games.
When Vikings visit Eagles, DeFilippo returns to native city
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — Over his first few months on the job as offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings, John DeFilippo diligently worked on developing his system around the skill-position pillars he inherited and learning the strengths and weaknesses of his new players.
Pressure needs to be on for Vikings to rebound vs. Eagles
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — With play-action pass after play-action pass, Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams just kept picking Minnesota's proud and proven defense apart.
Zimmer, Vikings scrambling for solutions to suddenly shaky D
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have been built around a stifling defense since Mike Zimmer was hired as head coach.
Vikings DE Griffen remains out with mental health trouble
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — Last week, the Minnesota Vikings were concerned enough about Everson Griffen's state of mind that they barred the three-time Pro Bowl defensive end from practice until he had a mental health evaluation.
After a scary series of incidents on Saturday, Griffen remained away from the team on Tuesday and out of action indefinitely. Coach Mike Zimmer said Griffen would not travel with the team to play the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday.
Vikings DE Griffen on leave; team concerned about well-being
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen has been sidelined indefinitely by an undisclosed situation that has caused concern within the organization about his well-being.
Humbled Vikings seek to move forward from annual dud
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — With a boost from an illegal block penalty by the Buffalo Bills during a punt, the Minnesota Vikings finally crossed midfield with 9:36 left in the third quarter.
Their next two plays were an incompletion and an interception.
Vikings’ Sendejo fined $53,482 by NFL for hit vs. Packers
NEW YORK (AP) — Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo was fined $53,482 by the NFL on Friday for his hit during a play in Minnesota's tie at Green Bay last weekend.
Sendejo was penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness after tackling Packers wide receiver Davante Adams in the third quarter. The safety knocked into Adams with his right shoulder just after Xavier Rhodes made initial contact.
BUFFALO (0-2) at MINNESOTA (1-0-1)
Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT, CBS
OPENING LINE - Vikings by 16
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Buffalo 0-2, Minnesota 1-1
SERIES RECORD - Vikings lead 8-5
LAST MEETING - Bills beat Vikings 17-16, Oct. 19, 2014
LAST WEEK - Bills lost to Chargers 31-20; Vikings tied Packers 29-29
AP PRO32 RANKING - Bills No. 32, Vikings No. 3
BILLS OFFENSE - OVERALL (31), RUSH (25T), PASS (31)
Vikings sign ex-Cowboys kicker Bailey after cutting rookie
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have signed kicker Dan Bailey, owner of the second-best field goal percentage in NFL history and replacement for rookie Daniel Carlson.
Bailey's deal was done on Tuesday, after the Vikings waived Carlson fresh from his 0-for-3 game at Green Bay.
The fifth-round draft pick from Auburn missed field goals of 48, 49 and 35 yards, with the last two failed tries coming in overtime and forcing the Vikings to settle for a 29-29 tie with the rival Packers.
Renewed push to protect QBs has defenders stumped
Pass rushers like Clay Matthews are stumped as to what constitutes a clean hit on quarterbacks anymore. Lending a sympathetic ear is none other than Mike Zimmer, one of the biggest beneficiaries of the league's renewed emphasis on protecting the passer.
"It's pretty difficult," the coach of the Minnesota Vikings said. "You've got a target area the size of a strike zone."
Vikings cut rookie Carlson after 3 missed FGs, target Bailey
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — With a roster built for the Super Bowl, the Minnesota Vikings were in no position to practice patience with a struggling kicker.
Rather than hoping Daniel Carlson could refocus after missing all three of his field goal attempts in the tie game at Green Bay, the Vikings waived the rookie on Monday and punted on the fifth-round draft pick they used on him five months ago.
Carlson misses 2 FGs in OT, Vikings and Packers tie
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Wide right, times two.
Daniel Carlson missed two field goals in overtime, including one from 35 yards as time expired, and the Minnesota Vikings had to settle for a 29-29 tie with the Green Bay Packers after rallying from a late 13-point deficit on Sunday.
The rookie's final attempt went to the right of the uprights, just like his kick from 49 earlier in overtime. Carlson also missed from 48 in the second quarter.
McCarthy: Packers QB Aaron Rodgers to get week to get ready
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer isn't buying it.
The Green Bay Packers can say all they want that quarterback Aaron Rodgers is day to day with a knee injury. The two-time NFL MVP will be given the whole week to get ready for Sunday's game against Minnesota, coach Mike McCarthy said.
"Yeah, well, you know he walks on water, so I'm sure he's going to play," Zimmer said Wednesday in a conference call.
Determined Cousins has victorious Vikings debut vs. 49ers
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kirk Cousins took the third-and-5 shotgun snap with 3 minutes left and Minnesota holding an eight-point lead.
He decided to run for it.
The San Francisco defense converged as Cousins crossed his 40-yard line, so the most expensive player in Vikings history lowered his head as he tried to power his way past the first-down marker.
CB-turned-coach Newman won’t fret over end of playing career
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — The end of an NFL player's career can be a difficult adjustment with, to start, the sudden dip in adrenaline, camaraderie and competition.
Terence Newman was hardly at risk for a bad experience.
Daniel Carlson kicks 2 field goals, Vikings beat Titans 13-3
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans did their best to protect their starters for the regular season, letting Kirk Cousins and Marcus Mariota lead the cheers from the sidelines.
Vikings wide receiver Jones charged with domestic assault
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cayleb Jones has been charged with misdemeanor domestic assault and other counts after an argument and physical confrontation with his girlfriend.
Authorities say the incident happened early Tuesday at an Eagan hotel. Jones' girlfriend told police he pushed and shoved her, interrupted her 911 call and smacked her phone out of her hand. The complaint says officers noticed rug burns, a scratch on her neck and a broken fingernail.
Stacked Vikings still hard at chase for championship
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — The end of last season for the Minnesota Vikings came suddenly and lopsidedly, falling hard in the NFC championship game a week after soaking in the euphoria of advancing on an improbable last-second touchdown pass.
Vikings acquire center Brett Jones in trade with Giants
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings, who are running out of time before the regular season begins for rehabilitating center Pat Elflein to return, took a step toward protecting themselves by acquiring center Brett Jones in a trade with the New York Giants for a draft pick.
The deal, which is contingent on Jones passing a physical exam, was announced on Sunday. The Vikings didn't disclose the selection, but NFL Media reported it's a seventh-round choice in 2019.
Vikings sign ex-Bengals safety Iloka, former Zimmer pupil
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — George Iloka had just sat down to eat with his wife when the call came from his agent.
The Cincinnati Bengals were letting him go. So much for that quiet day off. So much for all that time in training camp perfecting the scheme. So much for the only NFL team he'd ever played for.
"But that's the business. That's what we kind of signed up for. Things happen. At the end of the day, you're just a number for the most part," Iloka said.
Vikes cut kicker Kai Forbath; rookie Daniel Carlson gets job
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have completed their plan to turn over their kicking duties to rookie Daniel Carlson, releasing veteran Kai Forbath with two weeks remaining in the preseason.
For all the training camp drills and exhibition game extra points the Vikings can give Carlson, there's no way for him to experience the pressure and scrutiny that comes with the job on a championship-chasing team.
Jaguars beat Vikings 14-10 in defense-dominated exhibition
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota and Jacksonville had the top two defenses in the NFL last season, a major reason why the Vikings and Jaguars reached their respective conference championship games.
Two joint practices and one exhibition game produced yet more evidence of the exceptional skill and sound scheme each team has on that side of the ball.
Keep it clean: Jaguars, Vikings convene for joint practices
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — After the coaching staffs for Jacksonville and Minnesota met the night before, a group of 12 trusted players from both the Jaguars and Vikings convened before the two teams took the field for their first joint practice.
The goal of the gatherings could be boiled down to this: No fighting.
Jags-Vikes practices another mark of Rashod Hill’s progress
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — Rashod Hill might not take part in the joint practices with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Minnesota Vikings this week because of a minor injury.
Perhaps, then, he'll have a brief moment to reflect on his progressing career, considering the presence on the same field of his former and current team. An undrafted practice squad player with the Jaguars just two years ago, Hill has become a key cog on a championship contender as the front runner at right tackle.
Vikings Nick Easton’s neck injury likely ends season
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings lost a key member of their offensive line Thursday when left guard Nick Easton was placed on injured reserve because of a bulging disc in his neck.
Coach Mike Zimmer made the announcement at a news conference. Easton hadn't practiced since Aug. 3 because of the injury. He started 12 games in 2017 and five games the year before, playing both center and guard.
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — Already owning one of the strongest defensive lines in the league, the Minnesota Vikings have made another addition to their front four this summer.
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — The football field was Tony Sparano's element, just like the coaching peers he left behind.
Walking in the freshly cut, bright green grass on Wednesday while directing the Minnesota Vikings through their first practice of training camp was, naturally, the best place for Mike Zimmer to be.
"It takes a little bit of the sting away," Zimmer said, pausing to recover from a crack in his voice, "of losing a great friend, a great coach, a good man."
Vikings center Pat Elflein starts camp on PUP list
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Vikings center Pat Elflein has been placed on the physically unable to perform list prior to the start of training camp, still rounding into form after offseason surgery on his left ankle.
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — Several prominent players across the NFL have skipped mandatory minicamps this week, subjecting themselves to team fines out of concern for their contract status in a league where so little is guaranteed.
Everyone is accounted for in Minnesota, where good vibes from the top of the organization to the bottom of the roster can only help the Vikings in their attempt to better their NFC championship game appearance from last season.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Only time will tell how sweet Terence Newman's 16th season in the NFL turns out to be.
The oldest active defensive player in the league is almost certain, though, it will be his last.
"You have to figure out something else that you want to do, once you get to my age," Newman said on a conference call with Minnesota reporters on Tuesday, the day after re-upping with the Vikings. "I think this will be my last year. No matter what happens, this will be it for me."
Had Bill Parcells found himself in the same position Mike Zimmer was in on Thursday night — as the head coach of a team with a defense good enough to propel the club to the NFC Championship Game — there’s a good chance he would have done exactly what the Vikings did with the 30th overall pick.