Zimmer said he hopes Greenway can return

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Linebacker Chad Greenway wants to play another season. That works for Vikings coach Mike Zimmer.

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Linebacker Chad Greenway wants to play another season. That works for Vikings coach Mike Zimmer.

Greenway, a 10-year veteran, is the team’s longest-tenured player. On Tuesday, he turned 33, and Zimmer talked about his value to the Vikings, who were eliminated from the playoffs Sunday with a 10-9 loss to Seattle.

“I love Chad,” Zimmer said. “I hope that things work out for him. He’s a great Viking. I sat and talked to him for a while (Monday). I think his leadership is immense in the locker room, especially with a young football team. I think he took active ownership in the role that he had this year, and so I hope it works out. He’s always going to be one of my kind of guys.”

Greenway kept his starting role this season but came out on passing downs when Minnesota was healthy. He might have to take another pay cut to stay; last year he took a cut from $7 million to $4 million to stay with the team.

He will become a free agent in March.


Another veteran bound for free agency is cornerback Terence Newman, 37. He’s coming off a strong season as a starter but has acknowledged contemplating retirement.

“I think Terence has value,” Zimmer said. “A lot of it depends on what Terence wants to do. I did not talk to him before he left, but I’m sure that Terence and I will have conversations as we go forward.”

Zimmer also coached Newman with Dallas from 2003-06 and Cincinnati from 2012-13, when Zimmer was an defensive coordinator. While Newman’s future remains uncertain, Zimmer did say Trae Waynes, coming off his rookie season, will have the opportunity to move in as a starter at the cornerback spot opposite Xavier Rhodes.

It seems almost certain that receiver Mike Wallace, due a nonguaranteed $11.5 million in 2016, would have to take a pay cut to return. He caught just 39 passes for 473 yards after being acquired last year from Miami.

While acknowledging that wasn’t up to par, Zimmer said he has interest in bringing Wallace back.

“I’m disappointed more so with it, that it wasn’t the season that he wanted or we wanted,” Zimmer said. “I say this from the heart, I love this kid. I love the way he works, I love the way he competes. I texted him (Monday) and told him basically the same thing. …

“He’s always going to be one of my kind of guys. … I would like him back. … He didn’t bitch one time about not getting the ball. He just went out and worked every day.”

Guard David Yankey, a 2014 fifth-round draft pick who spent the season on the practice squad, signed a futures contract with the Carolina Panthers after turning down a similar offer from the Vikings. Yankey didn’t play in a single game as a rookie and failed to make the 53-man roster this season.

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