MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway has been open about his desire to play one more season for the team and finish his career in Minnesota. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer sounded on Thursday as though he's hoping for the same thing.
Zimmer said at the NFL combine he wants Greenway back for an 11th season in Minnesota, adding the 33-year-old linebacker can still play, whether he's in a starting or part-time role.
In 2015 Greenway shifted from being an every-down linebacker to playing about half of the Vikings' snaps in their base defense and said the role helped preserve his health after an injury-riddled 2014 season. He said at the Vikings Winterfest on Friday that if the team brings him back for 2016, he would likely announce that he'll retire after the year.
"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]."
The linebacker reduced his salary in the final year of his deal with the Vikings in 2015 and is scheduled to hit free agency in March. Both Zimmer and Vikings general manager Rick Spielman have praised Greenway's leadership, however, and underscored what it meant to a young team that won the NFC North at 11-5.
"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."
ESPN's John Keim contributed to this report.