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Terence Newman: 2018 Season Will 'Probably Be My Last'

EAGAN, Minn. — The 2018 season in all likelihood will be Trae Waynes's last rodeo in the NFL.

The Vikings cornerback, who is entering his 16th professional season, re-signed with the Vikings on Monday.

In a conference call with the Twin Cities media on Tuesday, the 39-year-old veteran said he expects this season to be his last.

"I think this is probably going to be my last [season]," Newman said. "I am getting to a point [where] you have to figure out something else that you want to do once you get to my age.

"I think this will be my last year," Newman added. "No matter what happens, this will be it for me."

Newman said the decision to return this season wasn't a difficult one.

"There wasn't much of a decision on my part," Newman said. "I said after the season that I was going to play, which I think everybody got wind of that.

"It wasn't much of a decision on my part," Newman added. "I just needed to get a deal done and be able to come up here."

Newman's potential final season also will be a last hurrah with Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer, who was the defensive coordinator in Dallas when the Cowboys made the Kansas State standout the fifth overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft.

Newman has played under Zimmer for nine of his 15 pro seasons in Dallas, Cincinnati and Minnesota.

The Kansas native will turn 40 in September, becoming the oldest defender in the league. He has 42 career interceptions. If DeAngelo Hall (43) does not return, it will make Newman the active leader in career picks.

Newman has five interceptions in three seasons with the Vikings, and has registered at least one pick each year.

He ranks 10th among active players with 221 career games, and has brought a wealth of knowledge and guidance to other players in Minnesota's secondary. That could now include Mike Hughes, a cornerback drafted 30th overall last week by the Vikings. 

Newman, one of the most respected and revered players in the Vikings locker room, said he's excited to get back to work with his teammates in the secondary.

"We've got a lot of great players back in the secondary – Harrison [Smith], [Andrew] Sendejo, obviously all the corners that we have," Newman said. "There's a lot of talent, absolutely. It's just going to be fun to be able to work with these guys and all of us work together and compete and get better.

"Just making each other better, our offense better, making our defense better," Newman said. "It's going to be fun. It's going to be fun just to be able to compete and see exactly where we all are."

Plenty of teammates have **raved about Newman’s leadership**, as he has been a team captain in recent years.

Smith hosted a dodgeball game this past November for members of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Twin Cities and spoke about mentorship.

As he did, the Vikings safety mentioned the impact Newman has had on him.

"Terence would be an example of a guy now," Smith said. "He's a peer, but he's also been there, done that. He shows us things every week."

And cornerback Mackensie Alexander said Newman has helped him learn the ins and outs of watching film and studying the pro game.

"Terence is a guy that's always been behind me, always been pushing me, always been talking to me throughout everything that's going on," Alexander told in December. "Sometimes you look at him and it's like, 'Man.' He makes some plays that it's like, '[Dang], he knew that was coming.' Or, 'How did he know that was coming?' Things like that. That's Terence, man. Terence is Terence."

Newman's influence isn't just limited to defensive players, however. He was locker neighbors with Vikings running back Dalvin Cook this past season at Winter Park.

"He has conversations with me every day, just about ball, about everything," Cook said. "He's been in the league 15 years now."

Newman didn't give much thought to becoming the NFL's oldest active defensive player. He instead said he's solely focused on capturing a Super Bowl title in what will likely be his final season in the NFL.

"After 15 years, I've soaked about as much as I can in," Newman said. "I've been on a heck of a ride. It's been a heck of a ride.

"I understand when it is time for me, and it is time for me. I am not going to put anything on this or do anything special," Newman added. "I am just going to go out and do the same things I've always done. That is go out and try to get better and try to help this team get better."

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