Thursday, June 17, 2010
Chad Greenway leaves us guessing
By Kevin Seifert
It looks like another bizarre story has emerged from the Minnesota Vikings' tons-of-fun minicamp last weekend. On top of tailback Adrian Peterson's absence and the freeze-out of quarterback Sage Rosenfels, we have a case of -- at the very least -- a prominent player and the head coach not having their stories straight on why he didn't participate.
Linebacker Chad Greenway left the field after warm-ups on all three days of camp, leading to the presumption he had suffered a relatively minor offseason injury. Coach Brad Childress refused to offer an explanation and even said at one point that "I can't figure out" why Greenway left the field.
But in an interview Thursday with KFAN-1130, transcribed by Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune, Greenway said he is "100 percent." Greenway added that he and Childress had an "in-house" agreement based on a "special situation" that precluded his participation.
Childress is fanatic about keeping offseason injuries a secret, so I guess it's possible Greenway simply went overboard to cover for whatever ailment he might have. But as with Peterson's case, I think the circumstances merit a closer look.
Greenway is entering the final year of the rookie contract he signed after the Vikings made him their No. 1 draft choice in 2006. He's been a starter for three seasons and it wouldn't be unheard of for a player in that situation to seek an extension. As we discussed with Peterson, a minicamp walkout is a traditional sign of discontent.
Greenway said in the interview that it's "nothing like that." In truth, it would be especially strange to stage such a limited, passive boycott. Does Greenway want a new contract? Is this a case of injury cover-up run amok? Or is the "special situation" a new twist we couldn't possibly conceive of? Other than Greenway's denials, we have no evidence to prove -- or disprove -- either theory.
But missing minicamp is a big deal in the NFL, and there's an important reason that Greenway didn't practice. For now, let's chalk it up as another pock in an increasingly worrisome offseason if you're a Vikings fan.