There's a possibility Bridgewater's contract is tolled for the 2018 season, Courtney Cronin of ESPN reports.
Bridgewater, who's set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the league year, spent the first six weeks of the 2017 season on the Vikings' Physically Unable to Perform list. Consequently, that could mean the final year of his rookie contract might be pushed forward to the 2018 campaign -- meaning Bridgewater would remain under contract at the same $1.35 million he earned in 2017. The decision to toll Bridgewater's contract is not up to the Vikings, but rather the NFL. While it's unclear how soon a verdict could be made, the outcome has significant implications for the Vikings' current quarterback dilemma considering none of Bridgewater, Sam Bradford or Case Keenum are currently under contract in 2018. However, even if Bridgewater's contract is ultimately tolled, there's a strong likelihood the NFL's player union would challenge the ruling in court in order for Bridgewater to seek a more lucrative contract on the open market.
Sendejo (calf) recorded 80 tackles, seven pass breakups and two interceptions over 13 games in 2017.
Overshadowed by a pair of 2017 first-team All-Pros in his own secondary (Harrison Smith and Xavier Rhodes), Sendejo quietly put together an outstanding season in his own right and ultimately finished the year as Pro Football Focus' 17th-ranked safety out of 89 qualifiers. In fact, opposing quarterbacks managed a meager 69.6 passer rating when throwing into Sendejo's coverage and his 80 tackles checks in at 22nd among all defensive backs. The 30-year-old veteran, who remains under contract with Minnesota for another two seasons, injured his calf during the Vikings' NFC championship loss to the Eagles but there's been no reported concern over his availability for the start of offseason workouts.
Griffen (undisclosed) recorded 45 tackles (31 solo), 13 sacks, three forced fumbles and one pass defensed across 15 games in 2017.
Griffen continues to be one of the most dominant pass rushers in the game, as his career-high 13 sacks tied him for fourth best in the league. Now 30, Griffen has proven to be one of the most durable and dependable cogs in Minnesota's defense, logging 795 defensive snaps on the year.
Newman would like to play another season, Ben Goessling of The Star Tribune reports. "I want to have an opportunity to play for a Super Bowl Championship," Newman said Thursday. "I want to get over that hurdle. That was my first NFC championship I've played in, in 15 years. I've never made it past the divisional round. I've never been to a championship game. I want to be able to have an opportunity to win a ring. It's that simple."
Newman will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason so he has the opportunity to go where he pleases, in his case wherever he feels he has the best chance to win a ring. According to the veteran cornerback, who will be 40 next season, money is not the objective of his next deal. Newman played in every game for the Vikings last season, logging 560 defensive reps in the process, so there is clearly something left in the tank for the oldest cornerback in the league.
Smith recorded 78 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 12 pass breakups and five interceptions over 16 games in 2017.
Smith captained a Vikings defense that allowed the fewest yards in the league while limiting opponents to a 25.2 percent conversion rate on third downs -- the lowest rate ever recorded since the stat was introduced in 1991, according to the Vikings' official site. Not only did he earn first-team All-Pro honors for his performance, Smith also finished as Pro Football Focus' highest-graded safety where his 36.0 overall grade was nearly twice as high as the second-ranked Adrian Amos (18.3). He remains under contract with Minnesota in 2018 and should be considered among the first handful of safeties to be considered in fantasy drafts.