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Greenway stays with Vikings on 1-year deal

EDEN PRAIRIE -- Chad Greenway's vacation to Mexico got even better Thursday. The linebacker reached a one-year deal to return to the Vikings for an 11th and final season. He announced the news on Twitter. "Nobody is more excited than me to help l...

EDEN PRAIRIE - Chad Greenway’s vacation to Mexico got even better Thursday.

The linebacker reached a one-year deal to return to the Vikings for an 11th and final season. He announced the news on Twitter.

“Nobody is more excited than me to help lead this team one more time!” Greenway wrote. “Dream achieved, going out a Viking! #Skol.”

Vikings defensive end Brian Robison said he spoke Thursday to Greenway from Mexico, where he is vacationing with his wife and children, and his longtime teammate was thrilled.

“He’s super excited about it,’’ said Robison, who came to Minnesota in 2007, the year after Greenway. “We’re both very excited about the things that we can accomplish this year with Coach (Mike) Zimmer and the Vikings’ football team. When you play with a guy for nine years, you always want to kind of get one more. So I’m very excited that he’s coming back.’’

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Greenway made $4 million last season, and it was expected he would have to take a pay cut for a second straight year to return. Contract terms weren’t immediately available, and Greenway did not return a message seeking comment.

Greenway said after last season he wanted to play one final year with the Vikings, and Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman both talked about wanting him back.

“I think there’ll be a role for Chad, very similar to his role last year,’’ Zimmer said last week.

Greenway, Minnesota’s longest-tenured player, had a reduced role last season for the first time in his career. He came out on passing downs, although he did get plenty of snaps in some games when another starting linebacker, either Anthony Barr or Eric Kendricks, was hurt.

Robison said Greenway never complained about his new role. He said he remained a team leader regardless of how much he was playing.

“He does a lot of great things on the field for us, but I think the one thing some people recognize and some people don’t is his leadership, the things he does as far as taking a step back and helping the younger guys,’’ Robison said. “He helped guys like Kendricks and Barr get better.

He does a lot of things behind the scenes that not a lot of people notice that make our team better.’’

Greenway was taken in the first round of the 2006 draft by the Vikings, but missed his rookie season because of a knee injury. He moved into the starting lineup in 2007, and has remained there ever since.

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Greenway has done plenty of work in the community. He was the Vikings’ nominee last season for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.

Robison would love to see Greenway stick around for more than just one more season, but he sees little chance of that happening.

“Knowing Chad, I think this will be one more and done,’’ Robison said. “But I feel like we have an opportunity to do some special things, and hopefully bring a Super Bowl championship to Minnesota. But either way, I feel like this is (Greenway’s) last run at it.’’

Related Topics: MINNESOTA VIKINGS
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