The Minnesota Vikings have seen many veteran players depart over the past couple of seasons. The current roster contains only one player at a skill position above the age of 30, Terence Newman.
Terence Newman will be 39 as of September, and will be the third oldest player in the league behind Tom Brady and James Harrison. All three players will look to keep defying the odds at their age and continue having big impacts on their respective teams.
Terence Newman Will Still Contribute for Minnesota Vikings at Age 39
It’s no secret as to what Tom Brady will be doing for the Patriots. The only thing left to see in New England is whether or not Brady will collect his sixth Super Bowl ring as the most dominant quarterback in history.
James Harrison will likely only see limited playing time for the Steelers. The previously retired veteran showed multiple times throughout last season that he can still impact a game. He will likely see the field as part of a situational defensive package. As long as Ben Roethlisberger is still playing ball with Antonio Brown by his side, the Steelers are hard to count out of championship contention. That may be a major reason as to why Harrison is sticking around.
Newman comes back this season to a team with a lot of question marks compared to his contemporaries. The Vikings didn’t make the playoffs in 2016-17 after starting off 5-0. This offseason saw multiple key players of the past few seasons depart.
Adrian Peterson, the former NFL MVP, saw his run as a Viking come to an end this off-season. He has since signed with the New Orleans Saints. Long-time linebacker Chad Greenway retired and wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson has taken his talents to Oakland/Las Vegas.
So what will a team that has so many young players and question marks look for from a veteran like Newman?
He is likely to begin the season splitting a starting corner role with Trae Waynes. The Pro Bowl corner Xavier Rhodes will be locked in as an everyday starter across the field. As the season progresses, Waynes should develop to become the everyday starter that he was drafted to become. That will likely depend on if he can bring his tendency to cause penalties down.
So then what becomes of Newman?
He will likely still see the field a decent amount. His peers have raved about how helpful it is having someone like him on the field, calling him an in-game coach. He may take reps at the slot corner position in an attempt to help out the second year corner Mackensie Alexander.
Depending on his health, Newman should still see plenty of in-game action with the Vikings this season. Having a player with his level of experience and knowledge will greatly benefit the young, talented roster.
Mike Zimmer has said that whenever Newman retires (if he ever does), he will be welcome back to the Vikings as a staff member. And most Vikings fans will have no problem with that.