Dec 9, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Chris Herndon (89) and Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Joe Schobert (93) and cornerback Cameron Sutton (20) in action at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: TE Chris Herndon expected to sign with Saints

The New Orleans Saints are expected to sign free-agent tight end Chris Herndon, multiple reports said Tuesday.

Herndon, 26, played in 16 games (five starts) for the Minnesota Vikings last season, catching four passes for 40 yards and one touchdown.

He played in 33 games (25 starts) for the New York Jets over the previous three seasons, with 71 receptions for 796 yards and seven TDs.

A fourth-round pick by the Jets out of Miami (Fla.) in 2018, Herndon is coming off a four-year contract worth approximately $3.2 million.

–Field Level Media

Aug 21, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Denver Broncos tight end Shaun Beyer (88) scores a touchdown after making a reception against Seattle Seahawks cornerback Will Sunderland (42) during the fourth quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings sign TE Shaun Beyer, place two on PUP list

The Minnesota Vikings signed former Iowa tight end Shaun Beyer on Monday.

Beyer, 24, joined the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent and spent last season on the practice squad. He was released on May 13.

Beyer caught 18 passes for 275 yards and one touchdown in 35 games for the Hawkeyes from 2017-20.

Minnesota also placed wideout Blake Proehl and linebacker Ryan Connelly on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Veterans report to training camp for the Vikings on Tuesday. Minnesota opens the season at home against the NFC North rival Green Bay Packers on Sept. 11.

–Field Level Media

Going Camping: Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings have had back-to-back losing seasons and decided that a change at head coach and upper management might be the remedy for the lack of success.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins re-signed under first-time head coach Kevin O’Connell and a flurry of smaller moves might just be enough to put the Vikings atop the division for the first time since 2017.

Training camp location: Eagan, Minnesota
TCO Performance Center
Rookie report date: July 24
Veteran report date: July 26

Key acquisitions: LB Jordan Hicks, DT Harrison Phillips, DE Za’Darius Smith, CB Chandon Sullivan, WR Albert Wilson, OL Jesse Davis
Key losses: LB Nick Vigil, TE Tyler Conklin, S Xavier Woods, DT Michael Pierce, OG Dakota Dozier

Head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman were fired back in January, marking the beginning of a new era in Minnesota. Kevin O’Connell took over as head coach in February, while Ed Donatell was named defensive coordinator and Mike Pettine was brought in as assistant head coach among a handful of other changes to the coaching staff. The Vikings were able to swipe defensive end Za’Darius Smith and cornerback Chandon Sullivan from NFC North rival Green Bay, but did lose safety Xavier Woods.

Consistency is key for Minnesota, especially under center. If Kirk Cousins plays at the level he’s capable of from start to finish, the Vikings are in a prime position to contend with the Packers, who took a step back this offseason.

–WEEK 1 IN FOCUS

Vikings vs. Packers 4:25 p.m. ET
Line: Packers -2 (FanDuel)
Total: 48.5

Green Bay is the favorite primarily due to its defense, which is projected to be among the best in the league, and that MVP quarterback that Minnesota loves to hate. If the Vikings can wear down the Packers’ secondary, it won’t be easy for Green Bay to match points due to its new-look offensive unit.

–BACK ON TOP

Being in a division with the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions means the Packers are really the only thing holding Minnesota back from a division title. But Green Bay’s offense, specifically its passing game, is not even close to what it was just a season ago. The Vikings sit at +300 (FanDuel) to come out on top in the NFC North ($100 bet would net $300 profit), and if there’s any year they could do so, it’s this one.

–Field Level Media

Jun 8, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) looks on during mandatory mini camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Jefferson: Davante Adams is NFL’s best WR … for now

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson recognized Davante Adams as the best at his position in the NFL. Well, for the time being.

Jefferson praised the Las Vegas Raiders wideout during a recent interview with Complex.com before adding that he likely will take his place atop the league by the end of this upcoming season.

“I’ll say after this year I’ll be the best receiver in the NFL,” Jefferson told Complex.com. “I definitely have to give it to Davante Adams as of now, him being so crazy and dynamic on the field. His route running is crazy, so I definitely have to give it to him right now, but I’m pretty sure after this year, it’s going to be me.”

Jefferson, 23, is off to a flying start to begin his NFL career.

He posted a then-rookie-record 1,400 receiving yards in 2020 before erupting for 108 catches and 1,616 yards in 2021. His receiving yardage total last season was better than that of Adams (1,553) and trailed only Los Angeles Rams star Cooper Kupp (1,947). Kupp, who was named the NFL Offensive Player of the Year, finished 18 yards shy of breaking Hall of Fame member Calvin Johnson’s single-season receiving yards record in 2012.

“I think I have to do it three years in a row for everybody to believe so,” Jefferson said. “Some people don’t think that after two years you deserve to be at the top of the league. And then me, I feel like I’m going to surpass 1,600 yards too. So I think that I’ll become the best receiver after this year.”

Adams, 29, is a two-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection.

–Field Level Media

Nov 28, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Albert Wilson (2) reacts as he takes on the field prior the game against the Carolina Panthers at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Vikings sign WR Albert Wilson to 1-year deal

The Minnesota Vikings signed free agent wide receiver Albert Wilson to a one-year contract, ESPN reported Tuesday.

Specific contract terms were unknown for the seven-year NFL veteran wideout, who caught 25 passes for 213 yards without a touchdown in 14 games (five starts) for the Miami Dolphins last season.

Wilson, who turns 30 in July, reportedly worked out for the Vikings on Tuesday along with fellow veteran Dede Westbrook, per multiple reports.

The Vikings are Wilson’s third team since signing with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2014 as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia State. Wilson spent his first four years with the Chiefs before inking a three-year, $24 million contract with the Dolphins before the 2018 season.

Wilson played three seasons in Miami, opting out of the 2020 season because of COVID-19 concerns.

In his NFL career Wilson has caught 218 passes for 2,499 yards and 12 touchdown catches in 89 games (38 starts).

–Field Level Media

Nov 1, 2020; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA;  Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) scrambles under pressure from Minnesota Vikings cornerback Jeff Gladney (20) during the third quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Cardinals CB Jeff Gladney killed in car accident

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Jeff Gladney was killed in a car accident early Monday morning. He was 25.

His agent, Brian Overstreet, confirmed his death to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

“We are devastated to learn of Jeff Gladney’s passing. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and all who are mourning this tremendous loss,” the Cardinals said.

Pro Football Focus reported that Gladney and a 26-year old female passenger died in a two-vehicle crash in Dallas.

The Minnesota Vikings selected Gladney, a TCU product, with the No. 31 overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. He played in 16 games, starting 15, and made 81 tackles, had three passes defensed and forced one fumble in 2020.

The Vikings released him last August following his indictment in Texas on a felony assault charge in a domestic violence case. He sat out the 2021 season, and in March, a jury in Dallas found him not guilty.

The Cardinals signed him to a two-year deal following his acquittal and earlier this month they were excited about his arrival.

“We got an extra first round-pick in free agency,” said Dru Grigson, the Cardinals’ director of player personnel on the Big Red Rage radio show in April. “(He is) incredibly quick-footed, highly instinctive player.

“We’re getting a starter in our building without having to waste any draft capital.”

Condolences poured in on social media Monday.

“Lost my Brother, my best friend, my right hand man… ain’t too much more I can take man damn!” Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jalen Reagor, a teammate of Gladney at TCU, wrote on Twitter. “R.I.P Jeff Gladney, brother watch over me please.”

–Field Level Media

Aug 27, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; A general view of a Minnesota Vikings helmet before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Doug Sutherland of Purple People Eaters fame dies at 73

Doug Sutherland, who spent most of his NFL career with the Minnesota Vikings and their renowned “Purple People Eaters” defensive line, died Tuesday. He was 73.

Sutherland, primarily a defensive tackle, joined the Vikings in a trade prior to the 1971 season after playing one season with the New Orleans Saints. He went on to play 10 seasons with Minnesota and appear in 138 games (90 starts), along with 14 playoff games.

That included three Super Bowl appearances, all losses, in Super Bowls VIII, IX and XI.

Sutherland played the 1981 season with the Seattle Seahawks to conclude his career. He retired with at least 29 sacks (an unofficial stat prior to 1982) and four fumble recoveries.

“Doug Sutherland was one of our proudest Legends,” Vikings co-owners Zygi and Mark Wilf said in a statement. “His humble nature did not allow for him to talk much about his own playing career, but Doug was a key member of some of the best defenses in NFL history and three Super Bowl teams. Doug was also the consummate teammate after football. He was one of the most active members of Vikings Legends events and didn’t miss a chance to help out at a community event or lend a hand where needed. Our thoughts are with Doug’s friends and family.”

–Field Level Media

Dec 20, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson (7) reacts in the second half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

CB Patrick Peterson plans to re-sign with Vikings

Cornerback Patrick Peterson will be back for a second season with the Minnesota Vikings.

The 31-year-old veteran free agent plans to sign a one-year contract with Minnesota, he announced Wednesday on the “All Things Covered” podcast that he co-hosts with former NFL cornerback Bryant McFadden.

Peterson said, “I’m gonna stay put in Minnesota and run it back with the guys. Keep it in the north.”

He added that he also received interest in free agency from the Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Indianapolis Colts and Washington Commanders.

Peterson added about the Vikings, “I just felt it was right just to be there and grind with those guys and try to all come together for that common goal. The team is stacked.”

According to NFL Network, Peterson’s one-year deal will have a $4 million base value, including a $3.5 million guarantee.

Peterson, an eight-time Pro Bowl performer, was an All-Pro in 2011, 2013 and 2015.

Selected in the first round (fifth overall) by the Cardinals in 2011, Peterson spent 10 years in Arizona before signing a one-year, $8 million deal with Minnesota last March.

He played in 13 games in 2021, logging 45 tackles, five passes defensed and one interception, which he returned for a 66-yard touchdown.

In 167 career NFL games (all starts), Peterson has 544 tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles, 12 fumble recoveries and 29 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Jan 2, 2022; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sean Mannion (14) warms up before game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Vikings re-signing backup QB Sean Mannion

The Minnesota Vikings are re-signing backup quarterback Sean Mannion to a one-year deal, NFL Media reported Tuesday.

Mannion, who turns 30 next month, has been with Minnesota since 2019. He made one start last season, passing for 189 yards and a touchdown in a 37-10 loss at Green Bay in Week 17.

A third-round pick of the then-St. Louis Rams in 2015, Mannion has passed for 573 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions in 14 games (three starts, 0-3 record) with the Rams (2015-18) and Vikings.

With starter Kirk Cousins signing a contract extension earlier this month, the Vikings’ 2022 quarterback room will look the same as last season. Kellen Mond, a third-round pick in 2021, and 2020 seventh-rounder Nate Stanley are also on the depth chart.

–Field Level Media

Jan 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) passes against the Chicago Bears in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Kirk Cousins lands one-year, $35 million extension with Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings and quarterback Kirk Cousins agreed to a one-year contract extension that covers the 2023 NFL season, Cousins’ agent announced Sunday night.

ESPN and NFL Network reported that the extension is worth $35 million and fully guaranteed.

Cousins was entering the final year of his existing deal. He signed a three-year, fully guaranteed contract with Minnesota in free agency before the 2018 season, then added two years by inking an extension in March 2020.

The latest extension is designed to help the Vikings lower his cap number for 2022, which was set to be $45 million. Cousins will count $31.25 million against the Vikings’ salary cap.

New Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell worked with Cousins in Washington for one season in 2017, when O’Connell was that team’s quarterbacks coach.

In 16 starts in 2021, Cousins threw for 4,221 yards, 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions with a 66.3 completion percentage. Cousins earned his third career Pro Bowl selection, but for the third time in his four seasons with Minnesota, the Vikings fell shy of the playoffs.

Cousins has a 59-59-2 record as a starter and a 1-2 mark in the playoffs.

–Field Level Media