In two short seasons, Visanthe Shiancoe has gone from being a free agent bust with hands of stone to one of the most dangerous red zone weapons in the NFL.
Now, the Vikings are looking to reward Shiancoe for his vast improvement. Sources say the team is discussing a contract extension with the tight end, which would pay him between $5 million and $7 million a year.
Shiancoe still has two years left on the $18.2 million deal he signed with the Vikes in 2007. But, as we have seen many times since Zygi Wilf took over the team, this Vikings regime believes in locking up its top veteran players to long-term deals, sometimes well before their contracts are set to expire.
Shiancoe is definitely one guy who deserves both a raise and some job security. After an unspectacular first 1-and-a-half years in Purple, Shiancoe blossomed midway through the 2008 season, ending that year with 42 catches for 596 yards and 7 TDs.
Then, with Brett Favre as his quarterback, Shiancoe had a fantastic 2009, catching 56 balls for 566 yards and 11 scores, 4 of the over-20-yard variety.
Of course, Shiancoe’s tenure with the Vikes has not been without its bumpy moments. In 2008, he made headlines all over the blogosphere when a Fox TV camera caught him in the locker room with his private parts on full display. And this off-season, Shiancoe became embroiled in further controversy thanks to an on-going Twitter war with former teammate Darren Sharper – a battle that reached a height of questionable taste when Shiancoe posted an image comparing Sharper to Osama Bin Laden.
But those goofy antics are only a sidelight to Shiancoe’s Vikings career, which has gone from shaky to solid since Brad Childress first rescued him from obscurity.