Hodges tweets his contract is complete

The Vikings got the first of their draft picks under contract Tuesday, according to a tweet by fourth-round linebacker Gerald Hodges, who is vying for a starting role.

The Vikings have the first known signing of one of their draft picks.

Linebacker Gerald Hodges, a fourth-round pick, tweeted a picture of himself signing his contract Tuesday morning.

"Happiest moment of my life. I got called up to sign my contract after my workout," Hodges tweeted.

Rookies are able to take part in the offseason conditioning program this week and went through a three-day rookie minicamp May 3-5.

Hodges is believed to have signed a four-year contract worth about $2.59 million with a signing bonus of about $425,000, based off of three completed contracts for draft picks selected immediately after him.

Hodges is expected to compete for a starting spot, either at weakside linebacker if Erin Henderson is moved inside or at middle linebacker if Henderson remains on the weak side. Hodges was working mostly on the weak side during the early practices at rookie camp.

"My mindset, you know, isn't to come in and be a backup. I do want to play when it comes to September. I want to be out there with that starting lineup," Hodges said after a couple practices at rookie minicamp.

In 2012, Hodges became the 15th player in Penn State history to have back-to-back 100-tackle seasons, and he was only the 11th player to lead to the team in tackles in consecutive seasons.

Hodges started 26 of 44 games for Penn State at strongside linebacker and had 249 tackles, 21 of those for losses, 5½ sacks, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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