Vikings return to work, Kendricks signs contract extension

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The 2018 season unofficially began with the arrival of Minnesota Vikings players for the optional off-season program.

It’s been a day that’s been on Kirk Cousins’ mind since he first arrived in Minnesota, mentioning it in his introductory press conference as the team’s quarterback a month ago. Cousins posted a photo on Instagram, announcing his arrival to center while wearing a shirt saying, “Back to Skol”.

The next two weeks are mostly for conditioning and lifting weights, but on Monday middle linebacker Eric Kendricks’ wallet got a little heavier too.

“The Vikings want to keep me here and they knew I wanted to be here as well,” said Kendricks.

The Vikings signed Kendricks to a reported $50 million to keep him in Minnesota for another five years. Kendricks led the team in tackles in each of the last three seasons. He says the deal is about more than money as he wants his play to overshadow his pay.

“If you’re not getting better in all areas, you’re kinda getting worse,” said Kendricks. “I just don’t want to be falling off and I’m definitely going to hone in on my craft, the pass rush, you know, my drops, route recognition, things like that, run game – my first step is always a little but sloppy. I’m just trying to take it to the next level.”

Kendricks wants to take a step individually this year, but as the Vikings take the first steps of a new season, he can already sense a buzz around this team beginning to grow.

“Everybody’s super excited,” said Kendricks. “We’re always excited to play football here.”