Chris Tomasson / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — It hasn't taken long for Case Keenum to win over his new teammates. During the second week of spring drills last month, the Denver Broncos quarterback rented a suite for a Colorado Avalanche playoff game against the Nashville Predators. He invited all of Denver's offensive players, and about 20 showed up. "We had a little team bonding,'' Keenum said Tuesday, May 22, following the first practice of organized team activities. Keenum spent last season with the Vikings before signing a two-year, $36 million contract with the Broncos in March.
EGAN, Minn. — Earlier this year, Jason McCourty joined his twin brother, Devin, as a member of the New England Patriots. Last weekend, the Seattle Seahawks drafted Shaquem Griffin to pair him with twin Shaquill. This weekend, safety Mackenro Alexander is trying out with the Vikings at a rookie minicamp with the hope of joining his twin Mackenzie on the roster. "So it's the year of the twins," said Trey Robinson, the agent for both Alexanders.
EGAN, Minn. — First-round pick Mike Hughes is the last remaining unsigned Vikings draft pick. On Saturday, May 5, the Vikings signed defensive tackle Jalyn Holmes, a fourth-round selection from Ohio State, and tight end Tyler Conklin, a fifth-round pick from Central Michigan. Holmes got a four-year deal worth $3.191 million, which includes a signing bonus of $731,396. His 2018 cap number is $662,849. Conklin received a four-year, $2.741 million contract with a signing bonus of $281,032. His cap number is $550,258.
EGAN, Minn. — After the Vikings picked Mike Hughes with the No. 30 pick in last week's NFL draft, head coach Mike Zimmer said a team never can have too many cornerbacks. Following the addition of Hughes, Zimmer got another intriguing corner for his collection in undrafted free agent Holton Hill, who had been projected by some as a midround draft pick. He fell out, mostly likely, because of failed drug tests at the University of Texas that resulted in his suspension for the final three games of last season.
EAGAN, Minn. — When the Vikings selected defensive end Ade Aruna in the sixth round of the NFL draft last week, Keith Millard was elated. Millard, a two-time all-pro defensive lineman for the Vikings from 1985-90, worked Aruna out for three weeks in January to help prepare him for the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and NFL scouting combine. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound Aruna, who played at Tulane, will take the field for the first time for the Vikings on Friday, May 4, the first day of a three-day rookie minicamp.
EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings on Monday, April 30, took care of business with cornerbacks. The Vikings re-signed free agent Terence Newman to a one-year deal and picked up the fifth-year option on Trae Waynes. The option is worth $9.079 million in 2019. Newman turns 40 in September. With linebacker James Harrison having retired after finishing last season with New England, Newman is now the oldest defensive player in the NFL.
MINNEAPOLIS—Vikings center Pat Elflein said Sunday, April 29, he is healing well from ankle surgery in January but likely won't take part in organized team activities. Elflein, who suffered a fractured left ankle in the NFC championship game and underwent surgery Jan. 29, said he has been doing "part work" since spring drills began April 16. But the Vikings want to be cautious with him.
MINNEAPOLIS—As the NFL draft was winding down Saturday, April 28, Jake Wieneke actually was hoping he would not be selected. The South Dakota State wide receiver and Maple Grove, Minn., native grew up a die-hard Vikings fan. With five picks to go, he received a call from Minnesota wide receivers coach Darrell Hazell asking if he wanted to sign as a free agent if not taken. "So for the last five picks of the draft, I was just kind of hoping that I don't get drafted and I get to sign with the Vikings,'' Wieneke said Sunday, April 29.
ST. PAUL — The Vikings on Saturday added to their already impressive defensive line. With the No. 102 pick in the fourth round of the NFL draft, the Vikings selected Ohio State lineman Jalyn Holmes. The 6-foot-5, 270-pound Holmes played defensive end in college but Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said he will start at three-technique defensive tackle, where they have a bigger need. The Vikings signed Sheldon Richardson to be the starting three-technique but they lost defensive tackles Tom Johnson and Shamar Stephen in free agency.
ARLINGTON, Texas — Mike Hughes is 5 feet 10, but his nickname is "Big Mike.'' The cornerback was taken by the Vikings on Thursday, April 26, with the No. 30 pick in the first round of the NFL draft. He was introduced Friday at the TCO Performance Center in Eagan and wanted to make one thing clear. "People say I'm short, but I don't feel like I play 5-10,'' he said. "I feel like I play like I'm 6-foot.''