Ann Heisenfelt
September 10, 2015

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) The Minnesota Vikings have signed wide receiver Jarius Wright to a four-year contract extension.

The deal worth a maximum of $14.8 million including $7 million guaranteed was done Thursday, four days before Minnesota's season opener. The Vikings have annually made a priority of signing young players to extensions before the final year of their rookie contracts expire, and Wright was their latest target.

''Just the security to know that the Vikings want me around and to go after me before the season started and not letting me hit free agency, it just shows how much they care about me and how highly they think of me,'' Wright said.

Drafted in the fourth round out of Arkansas in 2012, Wright is coming off career bests in 2014, with 42 catches and 588 yards.

The 5-foot-10, 190-pound Wright has worked his way into a role as a reliable slot receiver, the team's third option this season behind Mike Wallace and Charles Johnson. Wright has four receptions of 50-plus yards in the NFL, including an 87-yard game-winner in overtime last year against the New York Jets.

''He's a great kid. Works real hard. He's smart. He's a great program guy. The guys that we like to have here,'' coach Mike Zimmer said. ''And he makes plays. He's fast. I think he's got a chance to have a very good future.''

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