Linebacker Chad Greenway didn't participate in much of minicamp, but he told a South Dakota newspaper that it was simply an agreement between him and Vikings coach Brad Childress and had nothing to do with his contract, which has one year remaining.
may have cleared the air concerning his cameo appearances at last weekend's minicamp, which fueled speculation when he appeared on KFAN-AM Radio in Minneapolis and did little to nothing to answer why he was M.I.A. from almost the entire practice schedule.
Back in Sioux Falls, S.D., for the Legends Sports Clinics, he shot down the notion that the reason for his absence had something to do with him entering the final year of his rookie contract and the hopes that an extension will be coming.
In an interview with the Argus-Leader
newspaper, Greenway said there wasn't any connection between his missing practice and him seeking a contract extension.
"There's nothing related at all," Greenway said. "There is no contract issue at all. Coach Childress gave me some time off for the minicamp and that's really all that matters."
He said he wouldn't be against getting a new contract worked out, but, given the uncertain climate in the NFL with an uncapped year and a player lockout being threatened, there are bigger fish to fry.
"With the scope of where the NFL is right now, with a looming lockout and things uncertain, as a player I think you have to be open-minded about what's going to happen," Greenway said. "You'd like to have your long-term future under control and in the bag. But, at the same time, it's a business. I signed a five-year contract and I'm going to play it out to the best of my ability. The Vikings have been very good to me."
While Greenway will be a priority for the Vikings to re-sign, especially given his improvement over the last two seasons, he seemed to give the ledge-jumpers a chance to take a step back. He will be at training camp. And, eventually, a contract will likely get done to keep him a Viking well into this decade.
There continues to be a buzz about the potential of Albert Haynesworth coming to either the Vikings or Detroit. If he does, it could go a long way to tipping the balance of power in the NFC North. Don't count on it being the Vikings, but don't sleep on the Lions. They've added a pair of running backs, a franchise wide receiver in Calvin Johnson and a franchise QB in Matthew Stafford over the last four years and used their first pick this year on massive nose tackle Ndamukong Suh. The Redskins have already done the heavy lifting, having paid him $32 million already and, given the current status of his contract, he is only guaranteed $9 million over the next two years. But, just as the buzz of Vikings interest continues, the buzz about what an awful teammate he has been with both the Redskins and Titans – getting called out by veteran players – can't bode well for his trade value given his cost and risk.
There is a lot of talk in the Chicago media about how the mix is going to be shared in the backfield with Matt Forte and Chester Taylor. There is a growing belief that Taylor may end up being the primary back and Forte may get relegated to third-down duty. However, the intent when he was signed was closer to a 50-50 prospect with each splitting series and going with the hot hand from one game to the next. With Mike Martz calling the plays, Taylor's rushing/receiving similarities to Marshall Faulk may play in his favor, as will his blocking. The one thing we've learned from Martz-run offenses is that the quarterbacks take a beating by design. Having a blocker could save Jay Cutler from taking the kind of pounding that gave Kurt Warner that far-away look and has all but crippled Marc Bulger.
The Vikings, for the most part, continue to run third in the odds of being the NFC champion. While the numbers vary somewhat from one sports book to the next, the Saints are the favorite at approximately 9/2 to win the NFC Championship, while Dallas remains second at 11/2 and the Vikings at third at 13/2. However, just about every sports book says that if Brett Favre doesn't return, the Vikings' number will skyrocket – putting them behind the Packers and, potentially, behind the Giants, Eagles and Panthers.
Look for Favre to have a cameo in an upcoming movie. No, it won't rival his wooden performance in There's Something About Mary. He was interviewed as part of a documentary called The Boys of Fall, a documentary produced and directed by country signer Kenny Chesney about the power and passion of high school football, especially in the south. As part of the documentary, Chesney interviewed friends he has made over the years, including Favre, Troy Aikman, Peyton Manning and John Madden. The documentary took over a year to complete, but Chesney has completed his work on the film and is currently looking for a distributor.
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.