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Vikings Re-sign Timeless Terence Newman

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. –Terence Newman showed timelessness in his first season with the Vikings. He'll try to do the same in 2016 as the oldest defensive player in the NFL.

The Vikings announced Friday that Newman has re-signed, joining nearly a dozen other teammates who could have hit free agency but opted to return to a squad that won the NFC North in 2015. Click here for the 2016 Vikings Free Agency Tracker.

The veteran cornerback joined the Vikings last March. In 2015, Newman played all 16 games for the seventh time in his career and led the team with three interceptions and 14 passes defensed. He also recorded 76 tackles (58 solo), ranking sixth on the team.

On Nov. 15, Newman snagged two interceptions at Oakland, joining Hall of Famer Deion Sanders as the only two cornerbacks to get a pair of picks in one game at age 37.

"The coaches really liked Terence and the things he was able to do," Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said after the season. "He played well."

While Newman only has one year in Minnesota under his belt, he's no stranger to Zimmer's defense. The 2015 season was a reunion for Zimmer and Newman, who played for both of Zimmer's former teams in Dallas and Cincinnati.

In December, Zimmer called Newman a "great kid" and said he's always been a class-act athlete.

"[Terence has] always been very open to coaching," Zimmer said. "He's always wanted to work really hard. He'll take every rep if you let him, even at his age. When he was younger, I remember the first time I talked to him was at the combine. I think I asked him [if he would] tackle anybody. He said, 'Oh, yeah.'

"He's a professional," Zimmer added of Newman. "He's smart, and he cares about his job. He works hard. He's a good athlete."

In addition to Newman's on-field contributions, he's an asset in the locker room. The Vikings work to employ high-character players, including veteran leaders like Newman.

After the 2015 season wrapped up, rookie safety Anthony Harris emphasized Newman's impact on him and other young players on the roster.

"Terence is a guy who has been around a long time – he's the older guy in the group," Harris said. "He gets along with everybody, laughs and jokes with the best of it. To see the way he works and how he pays attention to detail, it's always nice to have guys like that."

Thanks to his new contract, Newman will continue making an influence for the Vikings next season.

The 2016 season will be Newman's 14th in the NFL and eighth with Zimmer.

Newman has played 190 career games, totaling 803 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 40 interceptions, 170 passes defensed, eight forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and three defensive touchdowns. With the retirement of Charles Woodson, Newman now ranks second on the active interceptions list, three behind Washington's DeAngelo Hall.

The return of Newman and signing of free agent Michael Griffin give the Vikings secondary a total of five former first-round picks (Harrison Smith, Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes).

In addition to Newman, the Vikings have announced the re-signings of Audie ColeAndrew Sendejo, Kenrick EllisRhett EllisonMarcus SherelsMike HarrisAdam Thielen, Carter Bykowski and Matt Asiata. Minnesota also tendered an offer to Zach Line and will have first right of refusal if another team attempts to sign the fullback before a deadline next month.

View some of the best images of the defensive backs from 2015.

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