If the Minnesota Vikings decide to bring linebacker Chad Greenway back for the 2016 NFL season, his leadership role will have a lot to do with it.
Linebacker Chad Greenway has been a member of the Minnesota Vikings since he was drafted in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He was one of the few players to survive the cuts when the team made its youth movement following the departure of future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre.
Before last season, there were rumblings that the 2015 NFL season would be the last year that the former Iowa linebacker spent with the Vikings before retiring. However, Greenway isn’t quite ready following a season where Minnesota won their division and had a heartbreaking loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
In a recent article on the ESPN website, the linebacker spoke about his future, and it didn’t sound as though he was confident that his final year in the NFL would be with the Minnesota Vikings:
"“I think with the stadium opening and kind of being able to be a part of that, I think if I was able to come back and play, I’d announce that this is going to be it — just kind of treat it that way,” Greenway said. “I think it’s nice for my family, if I get that, to have some closure and go through the season knowing that might be it. It may not be in Minnesota; we don’t know the answer to that. But the reality is, I’ve told my kids I want to play and they’re excited about that and they want me to do it. And they’re going to have a harder time than me [when I’m done playing].”"
While Greenway wants to play, it sounds as though Rick Spielman wants to have Chad Greenway back with the team for both his play on the field and as a team leader to help out some of the newer players on the roster.
"“We talked about guys on our football team that still can play the game and contribute to us winning, and Chad showed that last year even though his role was reduced,” Spielman said. “But that leadership — you can’t put enough emphasis on that, especially when you have a young ballclub.”"
Still, the two sides will need to come to an agreement on a price tag for the 2016 season, but bringing back Chad Greenway to the Minnesota Vikings makes a lot of sense for both parties involved. Hopefully, something can be worked out and the veteran presence can help the team for one more year before hanging up his cleats for good.