Dec 5, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Adrian Peterson (21) rushes against the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Adrian Peterson: ‘Mentally … haven’t officially hung it up’

Adrian Peterson is ready to take his next handoff should any NFL team offer the 38-year-old the chance in 2023.

Peterson, who didn’t play last season, needs 82 rushing yards to hit 15,000 for his career. He is 351 yards from tying Barry Sanders for fourth place on the all-time rushing list.

“Mentally, I haven’t officially hung it up. We’ll see what happens,” Peterson told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “My mindset is, if God’s willing, maybe an opportunity presents itself, and maybe it happens this season. I’ll go from there. But (if) nothing happens this season, for sure, I will be hanging it up.”

Peterson last played in 2021, appearing in one game with the Seattle Seahawks and three with the Tennessee Titans.

Originally drafted by the Minnesota Vikings, Peterson also has played for New Orleans, Arizona, Washington and Detroit. He is a four-time All-Pro and led the NFL in rushing three times.

–Field Level Media

Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; USC wide receiver Jordan Addison on stage after being selected by the Minnesota Vikings twenty third overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Vikings sign 1st-round pick Jordan Addison

Wide receiver Jordan Addison signed his four-year rookie contract with the Minnesota Vikings, NFL Network reported on Wednesday.

All contracts involving first-round selections include a fifth-year team option.

Addison, 21, was selected by the Vikings with the 23rd overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft out of Southern California.

A 2021 Biletnikoff Award winner, Addison had 59 receptions for 875 yards and eight touchdowns in his lone season with the Trojans. He transferred from Pitt ahead of the 2022 campaign.

Addison caught 100 passes for 1,593 yards and 17 TDS in 2021 at Pitt, earning him the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver. He has 29 career TDs in 36 games at Pitt and USC.

–Field Level Media

Oct 2, 2022;  London, United Kingdom;   Minnesota Vikings linebacker Za'Darius Smith (55) celebrate victory at the end of  the second half of the NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

Browns complete deal to acquire DE Za’Darius Smith from Vikings

Pro Bowl defensive end Za’Darius Smith officially joined the Cleveland Browns on Tuesday, completing a trade with the Minnesota Vikings that includes four draft picks.

Smith hit double digits in sacks in 2022 for the third time in the past four seasons, totaling 10. He’ll help the Browns replace Jadeveon Clowney opposite Myles Garrett, who also has at least 10 sacks in three of the past four seasons.

Cleveland received Smith, a 2025 sixth-round pick and a 2025 seventh-round pick from the Vikings in exchange for two fifth-round picks: one in 2024 and another in 2025.

Smith, 30, requested his release from the team in March and posted a goodbye of sorts to Vikings fans on social media. At the time, reports said Minnesota did not plan to honor his request.

Smith missed most of the 2021 season while playing for the Green Bay Packers due to a back injury. He played in one regular-season game before being placed on injured reserve, and he could not come back until the playoffs.

He then signed a three-year, $42 million contract with the division rival Vikings in March 2022. He received votes for the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award last season.

Across eight NFL seasons with the Baltimore Ravens (2015-18), Packers (2019-21) and Vikings, Smith has 54.5 sacks, 271 tackles, nine forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 107 games (64 starts).

–Field Level Media

Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Za'Darius Smith (55) celebrates after a sack in the first quarter against the New Orleans Saints during an NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Vikings trade edge rusher Za’Darius Smith to Browns

The Cleveland Browns acquired edge rusher Za’Darius Smith from the Minnesota Vikings, several reports said Friday night.

The Vikings will receive fifth-round picks in the 2024 and 2025 drafts, while the Browns will also collect sixth- and seventh-rounders in 2025 from Minnesota.

A three-time Pro Bowl selection, the 30-year-old Smith spent one season with the Vikings and recorded 10 sacks among 44 total tackles. But he requested his release from the team in March and posted a goodbye of sorts to Vikings fans on social media. At the time, reports said Minnesota did not plan to honor his request.

Smith missed most of the 2021 season while playing for the Green Bay Packers due to a back injury. He played in one regular-season game before being placed on injured reserve, and he could not come back until the playoffs.

He then signed a three-year, $42 million contract with the division rival Vikings in March 2022. He received votes for the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award last season.

Across eight NFL seasons with the Baltimore Ravens (2015-18), Packers (2019-21) and Vikings, Smith has 54.5 sacks, 271 tackles, nine forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 107 games (64 starts).

–Field Level Media

Joe Kapp and his family gather by a field sign created to honor the former NFL player's legacy at El Sausal Middle School in Salinas, Calif.


Joe Kapp, former Super Bowl QB, dies at 85

Joe Kapp, who played quarterback at Cal and later led the Minnesota Vikings to the Super Bowl, died Monday at age 85.

J.J. Kapp confirmed his father’s death to the San Francisco Chronicle, saying it came following a “15-year battle with dementia.”

Raised in California, Kapp played both football and basketball at Cal. On the field, the All-American led the Golden Bears to the Pacific Coast Conference championship in 1958 and onto the Rose Bowl. The Bears lost to Iowa in the 1959 game — the last appearance in the Rose Bowl for Cal.

Kapp spent eight seasons in the Canadian Football League, twice leading the British Columbia Lions to the Grey Cup title game. He moved to the NFL in 1967, leading the Vikings to the Super Bowl following a 12-2 season in 1969.

Minnesota lost Super Bowl IV to the Kansas City Chiefs, 23-7. Still, Kapp is the only quarterback to lead teams to a Rose Bowl, Grey Cup and Super Bowl.

Kapp spent three seasons with the Vikings and signed with the Boston Patriots in 1970 after Minnesota didn’t offer him a new contract. After the season, commissioner Pete Rozelle intervened and declared the four-year contract Kapp signed with the Patriots was invalid. Rozelle ruled Kapp had to sign a revised contract to continue in the NFL, and Kapp never played again.

He finished his NFL career with a 24-21-3 record as a starter. He threw for 5,911 yards, with 40 touchdowns and 64 interceptions.

He filed an antitrust suit against the NFL and eventually won but wasn’t awarded any damages.

Kapp had small acting roles in films, including in “The Longest Yard,” in the 1970s. In 1982, he took over as head coach at Cal in his first-ever coaching job. He was the coach of the Bears during the Nov. 20, 1982, game against Stanford, when Cal improbably won with four seconds left in a contest marked by the Stanford band prematurely stepping onto the field.

Cal fired Kapp in 1986 after a 20-34-1 record.

In later years, as he struggled with dementia, Kapp said in an interview that he feared he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disease afflicting many former football players.

J.J. Kapp said his father’s brain will be studied at UC San Francisco to determine whether Kapp was afflicted with CTE.

–Field Level Media

Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) passes the ball against the New York Giants during the first quarter of a wild card game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins comfortable with familiar win-or-else status

Kirk Cousins enters the fourth win-or-else season of his 12-year NFL career knowing the Vikings are willing to move on unless Minnesota reaches rare heights in 2023.

Cousins, 34, is in the final year of his contract and sixth season with the Vikings. He tries not to spend much time considering it could be his final year with the franchise, which opted not to extend his deal despite a 13-4 record in 2022.

“I don’t think you go there,” Cousins said of contemplating the end of his run with Minnesota. “I think it’s healthiest to be present. To be focused on Phase 2, Wednesday, and live right now in the moment. And again, when you do that, you just do it day after day, and you get to next February, and you say, ‘Everything will work out.’ It’s just best to stay in the present to have March go the way you want it to go.”

Cousins counts $20.25 million against the salary cap this season and trading — Cousins has a full no-trade clause, meaning he’d have to approve his exit via trade — or releasing him before June 1 would’ve cost the cash-strapped Vikings $48.75 million. The final two years on his deal are automatic void years, meaning he’s a free agent in March barring a new round of bargaining with second-year general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah.

“I want to be in Minnesota. That’s kind of a no-brainer,” Cousins said. “So, hopefully, we can earn the right to do that.”

Cousins led the NFL in fourth-quarter comebacks and game-winning drives in 2022. But winning in the regular season might not get it done this time. Cousins has delivered in this position before.

In 2016 he played under the franchise tag in Washington, and the franchise tagged him again in 2017. Cousins left for a guaranteed $84 million on a three-year deal with the Vikings, who re-upped with him after the 2020 season on a two-year, $66 million deal.

“My fourth year after my rookie contract, the two years in Washington after that, and now this … I would just say that to say, it’s more the norm than the exception,” Cousins said of his expiring deal. “The exception is that you have something penciled in for future years. Most of our locker room has no idea what is coming in three or four months, let alone three or four years or next year. So, I feel like I’m one of the guys, if you will. We’re all in this together, and that’s the way this league works.”

Cousins was endorsed strongly by second-year head coach Kevin O’Connell, who noted Cousins last had the same voice calling plays in 2015 and 2016 when Sean McVay was a lead designer of the Washington scheme.

“This’ll be really cool for him to be in the same system, call the same formations, the same plays,” O’Connell said. “I’m just excited to see him in year two and my goal is that 2023 is one of the best seasons Kirk Cousins has had playing quarterback in the NFL.”

–Field Level Media

Mar 1, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Army linebacker Andre Carter Ii (LB06) speaks to the press at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings give $340K guaranteed to UDFA Andre Carter II

The Minnesota Vikings gave Army edge rusher Andre Carter II $340,000 in guaranteed money — one of the largest deals ever given to an undrafted free agent, NFL Network reported Tuesday.

The haul is more than Carter would have gotten had he been selected late in the recently completed NFL draft.

Carter gets a $40,000 signing bonus and $300,000 of his base salary guaranteed by the Vikings, per the report. Players taken late in the seventh and final round are slotted for an $80,000 signing bonus, which is the only guaranteed money they see.

Carter reportedly had multiple suitors after the draft, driving a bidding war. His 265-pound frame as an edge rusher was the main culprit for not getting drafted. The guaranteed money implies the Vikings think Carter can make the team.

Carter – and others at the military academies – needed a congressional bill passed in December just to be eligible for the draft. The provision affords deferred service for players pursuing professional sports opportunities.

The 6-foot-7 Carter had 15.5 sacks in 2021 and 3.5 last season. He is the son of former No. 7 overall pick Andre Carter, who attended Cal and played defensive end in the NFL for 13 seasons from 2001-13.

–Field Level Media

Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) runs the ball during the first quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Dalvin Cook Next Team Odds: Eagles, Bills eyeing Vikings RB?

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is among several prominent veteran players who could reportedly be moved ahead of — or during — this week’s NFL draft.

Cook has posted four consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons while compiling 46 total touchdowns and doesn’t turn 28 until August. However, he also carries a salary cap hit of $14.1 million this season, $15.6 million in 2024 and $13.5 million in the last year of his contract in 2025.

That has led to speculation that the Vikings might be open to parting ways with their second-round pick from 2017.

If so, there would be several contenders interested in landing the four-time Pro Bowl selection.

The Philadelphia Eagles have been installed as the +300 favorite by should the Vikings deal Cook. Whether Minnesota would trade him to the reigning NFC champions is a big question mark, but Philadelphia certainly has a pressing need in the backfield.

After Miles Sanders signed with Carolina in free agency, the Eagles added oft-injured former Seattle Seahawks first-round pick Rashaad Penny to a backfield that also includes Kenneth Gainwell, Boston Scott and Trey Sermon.

Philadelphia has also been tied to rumors about Titans star Derrick Henry and disgruntled Chargers running back Austin Ekeler, along with free agents Kareem Hunt and Leonard Fournette.

Buffalo is another intriguing potential destination for Cook. The Bills added former Patriots running back Damien Harris in free agency and are excited about the potential of 2022 second-round speedster James Cook.

Cook could provide a physical workhorse to complement his younger brother in New England, and the Vikings wouldn’t have to be concerned about fortifying an NFC rival.

Buffalo is being offered at +400 by to acquire Cook, the same odds as the Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins.

With Javonte Williams recovering from ACL surgery, the Broncos signed Samaje Perine in free agency. They’re expected to add at least one running back in the draft, but they don’t have a lot of capital to part with in exchange for a proven veteran back.

Although none are as dynamic as Cook, the Dolphins do have a deep backfield of quality veterans that includes Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr., Salvon Ahmed and Myles Gaskin.

Philadelphia Eagles (+300)
Buffalo Bills (+400)
Denver Broncos (+400)
Miami Dolphins (+400)
Dallas Cowboys (+700)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+700)
Baltimore Ravens (+900)
Chicago Bears (+1000)
Cincinnati Bengals (+1400)
Los Angeles Rams (+1400)
New Orleans Saints (+1400)
*If not Vikings

Cook is recovering from offseason surgery to repair a shoulder injury that was originally suffered in 2019. His agency said in February that Cook is expected to be healthy for the start of the season.

Through his first six NFL seasons, Cook has rushed for 5,993 yards and 47 touchdowns and caught 221 passes for 1,794 yards and five scores in 73 games (72 starts).

–Field Level Media

Bill Heggie and John Grace of Concrete Form Erectors stabilize a beam going up in the new football stadium on the East Bank in Nashville Feb. 24, 1998. Construction of the $165 million Oilers stadium is using almost 400 workers from the labor pool daily, causing other projects to struggle for manpower to complete them.

‘Fair to Worn’ home of Vikings needs $280M repairs

US Bank Stadium, entering its eighth year as home of the Minnesota Vikings, needs significant repairs after several areas of the state-of-the-art venue were rated as “fair” or “worn” by architectural assessors.

Governor Tim Walz said the state has $15.7 million to cover the first phase of construction involving the perimeter of the building and asked for an additional $48 million to keep the arena rated in “top condition,” the Star-Tribune reported.

In total, at least $240 million in repairs are needed in the next decade.

US Bank Stadium replaced the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, which opened in 1982 but was demolished after the 2013 season. US Bank Stadium was constructed on the same site and the Vikings began playing there in 2016.

The Vikings used the outdoor stadium at University of Minnesota for the 2014 and 2015 NFL seasons.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings fullback C.J. Ham (30) walks to the huddle against the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings sign fullback C.J. Ham to 2-year extension

Veteran fullback C.J. Ham, one of the league’s few remaining fullbacks, has agreed to a two-year contract extension to remain with the Minnesota Vikings, his agency announced Wednesday.

Ham, who has played all six of his NFL seasons with the Vikings, had been scheduled to make approximately $3 million in the upcoming season with a $3.8 million salary-cap hit. No official terms of the deal were revealed.

Ham, who will turn 30 in July, has been a staple in the Vikings running game in clearing space for star running back Dalvin Cook, who has put up 1,000 or more rushing yards in each of the past four seasons — making the Pro Bowl each time.

While he rarely touches the ball on offense, Ham joined Cook at the Pro Bowl after the 2019 season.

Originally an undrafted free agent out of Augustana (South Dakota), Ham has rushed the ball just 36 times for 97 yards and three touchdowns in his career — with two of his touchdown runs coming last season. He also has 70 career catches for 610 yards and two TD receptions in his 96 games (33 starts).

The Vikings also added a pair of free agents on Wednesday, announcing that they have agreed to contracts with linebacker Troy Reeder and wide receiver Brandon Powell. Both moves are pending physicals.

Reeder, 28, made just 11 tackles in 17 games as a reserve last season with the Los Angeles Chargers after spending his first three years crosstown with the Rams. He started in 25 of his 49 games in 2019-21 with the Rams, finishing third on the team with a career-high 91 tackles in their Super Bowl-winning season in 2021.

In his four NFL seasons, Reeder has 241 tackles, five sacks and two interceptions in 66 games (25 starts).

Powell, 27, joins his fourth team since being signed as an undrafted free agent by the Detroit Lions in 2018. The former Florida product played sparingly with the Lions as a rookie before being cut the next summer. He landed on the Atlanta Falcons practice squad in 2019 and saw limited action in 2020. Powell then played for the Rams in 2021 — winning a Super Bowl with Reeder — and 2022.

In 44 career games (eight starts), Powell has 47 catches for 354 yards and two scores. Most of his action has come as a return specialist and he served as the Rams’ primary returner of both kickoffs and punts last season.

–Field Level Media