Vikings playmakers up for new contracts?

The Vikings had one of the more productive 2007 draft classes with Adrian Peterson and Sidney Rice. Rice is in the final year of his contract, and the 49ers have already upped the ante when it comes to extensions for stars from the 2007 draft.

Teams like the Vikings may have to start dealing with the contracts of their draft class of 2007, which for Minnesota could be a little dicey since that class includes Adrian Peterson and Sidney Rice – with at least Rice likely in line for a lucrative contract extension.

The 49ers fired the first shot across the bow last week when they re-signed linebacker Patrick Willis to a five-year, $50 million extension and players like Peterson, Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson, Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis and Cleveland offensive tackle Joe Thomas are all in line for a big payday as they have lived up to their rookie contracts above and beyond expectations.

The Class of 2007 has been marked by many disappointments. First overall pick JaMarcus Russell was released by the Raiders earlier this month, fourth overall pick Gaines Adams died in January, ninth overall pick Ted Ginn Jr. was traded by Miami to Oakland, 13th overall pick Adam Carriker was traded by the Rams to the Patriots, 22nd overall pick Brady Quinn was traded by the Browns to the Broncos and 12th overall pick Marshawn Lynch is on the trading block. That, combined with first-round disappointments DE Jamaal Anderson (No. 8, Atlanta), DT Amobi Okoye (No. 10, Houston), DT Justin Harrell (No. 16, Green Bay) and DE Jarvis Moss (No. 17, Denver), has left those who have excelled from the top of the 2007 draft class at even more of a premium for their team's to re-sign.

Rice, a second-round pick who is scheduled to make only $550,000 in base salary this year, has a contract that expires after the 2010 season.

Peterson, on the other hand, is much more well-compensated as the No. 7 overall pick and his contract runs through 2012, so that is not as pressing of an issue. He could make as much as $20 million over the final three years if he continues to hit escalators in his contract.

The Vikings aren't known as a team that extends contracts until they get into the final year of their current deals, but that time is coming for Rice. Peterson may be put on hold for another year or even two.

The 49ers have started the process going. Don't be surprised if at least a couple of the big names from the 2007 draft start the process of negotiating long-term extensions themselves in the coming weeks and months.


  • To the surprise of few, Ray Edwards is skipping the team's offseason workout program. Edwards, who, like several other players with four or five years of experience, was denied unrestricted free agency due to the lack of a collective bargaining agreement. He is the only Viking not to sign his tendered offer from the team and has until June 15 to sign the contract. After June 15, the Vikings can reduce their offer to 110 percent of what Edwards made last year. With his absence, it will open up the chance for reserves Brian Robison and rookie Everson Griffen to get more snaps with the first-team defense during organized team activities, which start next week, and the June 11-13 minicamp.

  • Rookie running back Toby Gerhart will also be absent from the team's minicamp later this month because he is still attending classes at Stanford.

  • Kicker Ryan Longwell attempted to qualify for golfing's U.S. Open Monday, but shot an 83 at the MetroWest Golf Club near his home in Orlando and failed to make the qualifying cut.

  • Running back Brian Westbrook, who was said to be on the Vikings' radar as a veteran replacement for Chester Taylor, will visit with the Redskins Wednesday. If he is signed, he would be reunited with Donovan McNabb, who was traded by the Eagles to the Redskins last month.

    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for 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.

  • Viking Update Top Stories