EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Linebacker Chad Greenway said Tuesday that he's optimistic that he and Adrian Peterson will play for the Vikings in 2015.
Greenway was a guest on Vikings play-by-play announcer Paul Allen's radio show on KFAN.
The pair discussed many memories they've enjoyed — on field and off field — since Greenway was selected by Minnesota in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft. Allen also asked the nine-year veteran what he thinks the future holds.
Greenway said since during the 2014 season that he'd like to return to the Vikings for a 10th, but there's been speculation in the media that his contract would need to be renegotiated in order to do so. Greenway told Allen he had "nothing but good conversations" with Head Coach Mike Zimmer, General Manager Rick Spielman and EVP of Football Operations Rob Brzezinski after the season ended.
"All positive, you know, all obviously, we both want to find a way to make it work," Greenway said. "I'm the athlete, or I'm of the athlete's side that says, 'I get where I'm at in my career. I'm not too stubborn to say I need this.' I get it, but also to sit and look at my position, I want to do it for one more year. I've been here for nine. I might as well finish here as a Viking."
Some veterans try to squeeze extra years onto contracts, but Greenway appears focused more on quality than quantity. The South Dakota native has made quite a home in the Twin Cities and is a two-time winner of the Vikings Community Man of the Year award. He's appreciative of a prolonged career that included playing all 16 regular season games for six straight seasons, before rib and knee injuries affected him in 2014.
"At this point, I'm not willing to commit to more than (one more year), I don't think, and we'll see how that goes, but you have to understand that you've played a lot of football and you only get one body and you have to be able to use it for a long time," Greenway said. "I don't know if I'd commit to more than one at this point, but at the same point, they have a business to run as well, and I understand that, and if I was in their shoes, I'd run the business as well. I think there's enough 'want-to' on both sides to make it happen, and I hope it happens in the next couple of weeks."
As to his role if a return is in order, Greenway said the competitor in him would want to be on the field for every snap, but he would ultimately accept the role that gives the team the best chance to win. He'd approach training camp, he said, with the mindset of taking on the amount that he's handled.
Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren both told reporters last week that the team would like to welcome back Peterson, but part of that will depend on his status with the NFL.
The 2007 first-rounder and 2012 NFL MVP is currently serving a suspension issued by Commissioner Roger Goodell that is scheduled to last until April 15. The NFL Players Association appealed the suspension on Peterson's behalf on Feb. 6.
Allen asked Greenway if he and Peterson would be with Minnesota when it travels to Canton, Ohio, to play Pittsburgh in the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 9.
"I think so. I think he's, if things go the way that everybody thinks they're sort of going to go now, I think he's going to be back in our uniform, and I think that's what everybody wants," Greenway said. "Obviously, he's paid some dues, and not everybody is going to agree that he's paid enough dues. Some people will think he's paid too many. It's just the way it is, you're not going to keep everybody happy. Do I believe he's a Viking next year? Yes."
HIGH MARKS: Allen also asked Greenway to assess the performance of linebacker Anthony Barr, who was selected in 2014 at the ninth overall spot.
"He was as good of a rookie as I've seen, including Adrian, honestly," Greenway said. "He was unbelievable and when he was healthy for 12 games, he did things as a linebacker that few people can do. I don't care if you're a 10-year veteran or a five-year or an All-Pro. He played at that level, and I think if he had continued to play that way and finish the season healthy, I think he's in definite discussion for Defensive Rookie of the Year."
Barr recorded 99 tackles (coaches' tally), 4.0 sacks, 13 quarterback hurries, three passes defensed, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in starting the first 12 games of the season. He also returned a fumble he forced and recovered for the game-winning touchdown in overtime at Tampa Bay.