With the beginning of mandatory minicamps around the NFL, star players are sitting out in hopes of gaining leverage toward a new contract.
Seattle safety Earl Thomas, Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Oakland pass rusher Khalil Mack were among the no-shows to begin the week.
In Minnesota, all three star players without contracts for 2019 were on the field at TCO Performance Center for the beginning of minicamp on Tuesday.
Stefon Diggs, Danielle Hunter and Anthony Barr all practiced in full.
Head coach Mike Zimmer talked about his players’ decision to hit the field.
“For one thing, all these guys, they like to be around each other,” Zimmer said. “So, I think that’s part of it. We’ve got a lot of really good guys on this football team that care about not just them, but they care about each other. It’s kind of just the way we do things.”
All three players have spent their entire careers under Zimmer. They have also seen the team spent $84 million on quarterback Kirk Cousins and sign drafted players Xavier Rhodes, Everson Griffen, Linval Joseph and Eric Kendricks to long-term deals over the last two years.
“It makes it easier when you’ve got good guys,” Zimmer said. “It’s not like pulling teeth all the time. You get guys that come out here and want to work. They want to get better, they’re good teammates in the locker room. Honestly, that part, for me, has not been that difficult. We’ve got the right kind of guys here.”
Barr missed one week of OTAs while he waited on insurance paperwork, but worked out in the final two weeks. The Pro Bowl linebacker said he wanted to have a deal done before OTAs. The team has traditionally announced extensions near the beginning of training camp.
During OTAs, Diggs indicated he wouldn’t be making much noise about an extension.
“Not any different than the approach I’ve had each and every year that I come in,” he said. “I look at it as I always want to get things done and I always want to come in with a mindset of having success, so I kind of let my resume figure itself out.”