Vikings give Zimmer contract extension

MANKATO, Minn. – The Minnesota Vikings trickled into the residence hall for their two-week training camp stay, toting the usual duffel bags, electronic gadgets and mattress pads.

Coach Mike Zimmer came with a contract extension.

The Vikings announced they’ve added to Zimmer’s deal, rewarding their revered coach well before his contract status ever became a headline and further galvanizing an organization already buzzing with anticipation of the season and the future.

General manager Rick Spielman declined to disclose the terms of the deal, revealed when the Vikings reported to Minnesota State University, but Zimmer’s original contract was not close to expiring. Zimmer even said he saw no rush to address it, entering his third season on the job.

“They really didn’t have to. There was nothing that was pushing this deal,” Zimmer said. “But I feel very, very fortunate to be the coach of the Vikings. It’s a great organization, a lot of great people.”

Talks took place over the past month between Spielman and Zimmer’s agent, Marvin Demoff.

“Our ownership, myself, the entire organization felt very strongly about getting something done with coach Zimmer,” Spielman said.

Brees downplays contract

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. – Drew Brees was patient and non-confrontational while fielding repeated questions about why he and the New Orleans Saints weren’t able to negotiate a contract extension before Thursday’s opening training camp practice.

If anything, the star quarterback became testier when the subject of rookie safety’s interception came up.

Standing nearby, one of Brees’ oldest teammates, right tackle Zach Strief, hardly seemed surprised.

And that, Strief said, is why the Saints shouldn’t worry about Brees’ ability to compartmentalize the uncertainty that arises for any pro athlete in the last year of a contract.

Brees has stated that once the regular season begins, he intends to cut off negotiations because he doesn’t want his contract status to distract him from preparing for a game.


n Jacksonville Jaguars running back Denard Robinson insists he wasn’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he fell asleep behind the wheel of his car that rolled through a red light and into a retention pond.

Robinson was cited for careless driving a week after the July 3 accident. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office’s began an investigation of officers who responded to the scene.

n The Atlanta Falcons were cautious on the opening day of training camp pulling star wide receiver Julio Jones out of practice with an injury coach Dan Quinn described as minor.

n Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson said he will name his starting quarterback for this season before the team’s first exhibition game next month.

Robert Griffin III is expected to win the starting job over veteran Josh McCown and rookie Cody Kessler.

n Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Sapp is OK after being bitten on the arm by a shark while catching lobster off the Florida Keys.

Charter captain Jack Carlson tells The Tampa Bay Times that Sapp was bit while reaching for a lobster the shark was also going after. He says Sapp is OK, but might need stitches. The captain says someone who saw the fish thought it might have been a nurse shark, about 4 feet long.

n The New York Hets waived punter Tom Hackett to make room on the roster for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

n Washington Redskins’ first-round pick Josh Doctson has been bothered by a sore left Achilles tendon since May and the problem hasn’t gone away. So the The Redskins put the rookie on the physically unable to perform list after he has been bothered by a sore left Achilles tendon.

n The Detroit Lions signed Anquan Boldin on just before opening training camp.

n Developers who want to build a domed stadium for the Oakland Raiders in Las Vegas vowed to zero in on two potential sites within the next month as they face a tight timeline to lock in a real estate deal, government approvals and the NFL’s blessing.

Representatives from Majestic Realty and the Las Vegas Sands casino company told an oversight committee that they want to get their plan in order by January, when NFL owners who must approve any team relocation by a three-quarters vote are scheduled to meet.

n The NFL says the Nov. 21 Monday night game in Mexico City between the Oakland Raiders and the Houston Texans has sold out within minutes.

A league statement says tickets went on sale at 11 a.m. Thursday and were gone in under a half-hour.

n Brett Favre is getting into satellite radio, joining SiriusXM NFL Radio as a host.

One day before Favre is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 6, he will debut on SiriusXM with a special town hall style of show from Canton, Ohio. He will host a series of hour-long programs during the season, starting in September.