Vikings guard Anthony Herrera has a few million reasons to be thankful, signing a five-year contract extension with the team on Wednesday. According to multiple reports, the deal has a base salary of $13.75 million and could be worth as much as $15 million and includes $5 million in guarantees.
"I'm just happy that the organization had confidence in me and saw me as a guy that they liked for the future, willing to work with me and getting me better," Herrera said. "It's one of my goals. I met one of my goals and I've got to keep working toward my other ones."
Herrera told Viking Update after he was inserted into the starting lineup that he had a long way to go, but he has a goal of becoming a Pro Bowl player. In order to do that, he will have to continue to make progress in becoming a more disciplined player, something that he and the coaching staff consistently talk about when his name surfaces.
"I'm still working on that, still trying to get that down. It's just trying to do too much. It's just trying to slow down and take their coaching points and roll with it," Herrera said on Wednesday. "Show them that I can be physical. Show them that I can take coaching, and whatever they are coaching me about, go ahead and turning it onto the field. That was one of the biggest things."
Herrera's insertion into the starting lineup has coincided with an improved running game. In his first start, the fifth game of the season, Adrian Peterson set a franchise record with 224 yards rushing and the Vikings as a team rushed for 311 yards against the Chicago Bears. Three weeks later, Peterson set the all-time NFL record with a 296-yard performance against the San Diego Chargers, and last week Chester Taylor ran for 164 yards against the Oakland Raiders.
Herrera entered the NFL in 2004 as a rookie free agent with the Vikings and worked his way into the starting lineup at the end of Mike Tice's era as head coach of the Vikings, but when Brad Childress took over in 2006, he traded for former Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Artis Hicks, who started 14 games last year and the first four games of 2007. Herrera only played in two games last year under Childress, but has proved to another coaching staff that he can be an effective starter.
"It feels good to come in as a (rookie) free agent then come in with a new coaching staff and then prove to them," Herrera said. "They've always liked me, but they just knew that I had some things that I had to work on."
In March, Herrera was a restricted free agent and the Vikings signed him to a one-year tender, but he is now signed through 2012.
"I knew that coach and them wanted to bring me back for one more year, so I wasn't worried about being in limbo," Herrera said. "I knew that they wanted me here. I just had to come in and do good in camp and just show them that I needed to be here."
Herrera Signs Five-Year Extension
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