MINNEAPOLIS -- Marcus Sherels has gone from the diminutive cornerback and return man trying to squeeze his way onto the Vikings roster each summer to a proven commodity with a multi-year deal.
The former undrafted free agent's new contract with the Vikings will pay him $2.2 million over the next two seasons, including a $300,000 signing bonus. Sherels, who was a restricted free agent, signed the deal last Friday.
Sherels, who posted the highest punt return average in Vikings history last season, will get a base salary of $750,000 (plus a $50,000) workout bonus in 2014; $200,000 of his base salary is fully guaranteed. He will make $1,050,000, plus a $50,000 workout bonus in 2015. The deal includes just $500,000 of guaranteed money, so the Vikings would have few repercussions if they did decide to part with the Rochester, Minn., native at some point during the next two years, but it's the first time in Sherels' career he's had this much financial security.
He'll likely head into 2014 without much uncertainty, too; after his impressive season as a punt returner and his serviceable work as a cornerback when injuries forced the Vikings to start him in three games, Sherels earned himself a reason to breathe a little easier.