Tom Dahlin/Viking Update

Minnesota Vikings announce Chad Greenway is retiring

The Minnesota Vikings announced that 11-year veteran linebacker Chad Greenway is officially retiring.

The Minnesota Vikings said they wanted a decision by the start of free agency on the future of Chad Greenway.

The team announced on Monday that Greenway has decided to retire and he will make that official on Tuesday at a press conference.

Greenway, a first-round pick of the Vikings in 2006, played all 11 years of his career in Minnesota after growing up in South Dakota and playing college football at Iowa.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer and General Manager Rick Spielman said last week that they hadn’t been told for sure what Greenway was going to do but had an indication.

“I think he’s still weighing everything. I think he’s probably leaning one way or the other, but he could still be swayed,” Zimmer said. “I think he really likes playing for the Vikings. I think he still loves playing football. He’s a guy that is going to have to stay busy anyways, whatever he does. That’s just his personality.”

After suffering a season-ending knee injury in a preseason game as a rookie, Greenway played in 156 games, starting 144 of them, including all five playoff appearances.

He ranks fourth in franchise history with 1,334 career tackles and is tied with linebacker Scott Studwell for the most consecutive seasons leading the Vikings in tackles with six (2008-2013). He earned two Pro Bowl honors (2011 and 2012), was selected second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press in 2012 and was voted the Vikings Defensive MVP three times (2010, 2012 and 2013) throughout his career.

Greenway also served as a valuable of the community with his philanthropic endeavors.

He was named the Vikings Community Man of the Year in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016. In 2015, Greenway was named the Byron “Whizzer” White Award winner, an NFL-wide honor and the highest accolade bestowed by the NFL Players Association to the player who goes above and beyond to perform community service in their team, city and hometown. Greenway created and operates the Lead The Way Foundation designed to enhance education and health opportunities for children and to enrich the lives of individuals and families in need. Established in 2008, the Lead The Way Foundation has positively impacted numerous families throughout Minnesota and the Upper Midwest.

In the second half of his career, he established himself as a mentor in the locker room, too.

“He’s a guy that I rely on an awful lot. I’ll ask him about the locker room and in different areas of what things I can do better,” Zimmer said last week. “… That’s one area that a guy like him can really help with. It’s also carrying my message in that locker room, making sure guys are being accountable to one another. I think that’s a big thing, what goes on with the football team is accountability to one another.” 

In 2007, the former Iowa Hawkeye was named the club’s Ed Block Courage Award winner for his dedication and effort coming back from a season-ending knee injury suffered as a rookie in 2006. Greenway also received the Korey Stringer Good Guy Award in 2012, an honor given annually by members of the Twin Cities media.

Greenway’s four Vikings Man of the Year honors rank second only to center Matt Birk. In addition to being fourth on the team’s list for career tackles, he is third among linebackers with 18 sacks and tied for fifth among linebackers with 11 interceptions.

Greenway will hold a press conference tomorrow morning.

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