Chris Tomasson / St. Paul Pioneer Press
EAGAN, Minn.—NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will be back in the Twin Cities for another Vikings grand opening. Goodell will attend an official ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, June 15, in Eagan at the TCO Performance Center, the Vikings' latest spanking new facility. Goodell was on hand in September 2016 for the first regular-season game at U.S. Bank Stadium.
MINNEAPOLIS—The Minnesota Vikings have plenty of high-priced players and are poised to add to the list. General manager Rick Spielman at least can joke about it. "Fifty percent of the proceeds today will go to the contracts of Anthony Barr, Stefon Diggs and Danielle Hunter," Spielman recently told participants at the Vikings' charity golf outing.
MINNEAPOLIS—In addition to third-string quarterback, Kyle Sloter is deserving of another title on the Vikings: director of quarterback alumni relations. Since Case Keenum, Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater all left as free agents in March, Sloter has made a point of keeping in touch with them. "We talk on the phone and I text them,'' Sloter said Wednesday during the Vikings' charity golf tournament at The Meadows at Mystic Lake in Prior Lake.
MINNEAPOLIS—Vikings undrafted rookie defensive end Hercules Mata'afa suffered a torn ACL on Wednesday when he was injured without contact on a kickoff in a practice during organized team activities. He will be placed on injured reserve and miss the entire season. Mata'afa's agent, Kenny Zuckerman, said Mata'afa was very distraught after suffering the injury, but that he felt better later in the day. He took to Instagram and wrote that he will "make the Skol nation proud in the near future!''
MINNEAPOLIS—Vikings center Pat Elflein said Sunday, April 29, he is healing well from ankle surgery in January but likely won't take part in organized team activities. Elflein, who suffered a fractured left ankle in the NFC championship game and underwent surgery Jan. 29, said he has been doing "part work" since spring drills began April 16. But the Vikings want to be cautious with him.
MINNEAPOLIS—As the NFL draft was winding down Saturday, April 28, Jake Wieneke actually was hoping he would not be selected. The South Dakota State wide receiver and Maple Grove, Minn., native grew up a die-hard Vikings fan. With five picks to go, he received a call from Minnesota wide receivers coach Darrell Hazell asking if he wanted to sign as a free agent if not taken. "So for the last five picks of the draft, I was just kind of hoping that I don't get drafted and I get to sign with the Vikings,'' Wieneke said Sunday, April 29.
ST. PAUL—Only once in the past four NFL Drafts has Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman not made 10 selections, and that draft wasn't one of his best. In 2016, the Vikings had eight picks, and none has developed into a starter. That draft included the selections of guard Willie Beavers in the fourth round and wide receiver Moritz Bohringer in the sixth, neither of whom made the opening-day roster.
EAGAN, Minn.—Adam Thielen didn't work his way into the Vikings' starting lineup until his fourth year with the team. Brandon Zylstra is focused on following Thielen's lead, but he'd like to move up the ranks quicker than that. Zylstra is drawing comparisons to Thielen for obvious reasons. Like Thielen, the wide receiver is from small-town Minnesota and went undrafted after playing at a small school. Zylstra signed a reserve/futures deal with the Vikings on Jan. 3. He will begin spring drills with them April 16.
EAGAN, Minn.—The Vikings might have found their No. 3 wide receiver. Minnesota on Friday signed Kendall Wright, a free agent who played last season for Chicago. Taken with the No. 20 pick in the first round by Tennessee in 2012, the slot receiver has 339 catches for 3,858 yards in six NFL seasons, including 94 receptions for 1,079 yards with the Titans in 2013.
ST. PAUL—Kai Forbath is returning to the Vikings. The kicker told the Pioneer Press on Tuesday, March 20, he has signed a one-year contract that is "in the mail." Forbath wouldn't give a precise figure but said he received a "small" raise from the $775,000 he made last season. Forbath, who replaced an erratic Blair Walsh in November 2016, will be back for a third Minnesota season. He said there wasn't much suspense during negotiations.