March 31, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway is coming back for one more season in purple.

Greenway tweeted Thursday he will be back next year and plans to end his career as a Viking. The 33-year-old Greenway has played all 10 of his NFL seasons with the Vikings since he was a first-round draft pick in 2006.

''Nobody is more excited than me to help lead this team one more time!'' Greenway tweeted. ''Dream achieved, going out a Viking!''

In a decade in Minnesota, Greenway has emerged as a pillar for the Vikings both in the locker room and in the community. He is one of the most respected players on the team, a defensive captain still revered by teammates even after his most productive days are behind him.

He had a career-low 68 tackles last year, but after starting the season in a supporting role he wound up becoming a much bigger part of coach Mike Zimmer's defense thanks to injuries to Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks. Greenway returned an interception 91 yards for a touchdown in a win over the Chargers in Week 3.

The Vikings added linebacker Emmanuel Lamur from Cincinnati in free agency for more competition and depth, but Zimmer has made it clear from the end of the season that he wanted to see Greenway come back in 2016.

''He's always going to be one of my kind of guys,'' Zimmer said at the end of the season.

Being able to play his entire career in Minnesota is an achievement for Greenway, who grew up a Vikings fan in tiny Mt. Vernon, South Dakota. He went on to star in college at Iowa before he was drafted 17th overall by the Vikings in 2006. Greenway missed his first season with a knee injury suffered on the opening kickoff of his first preseason game, but recovered to put together a great career. He has played in two Pro Bowls.

Greenway and his wife Jenni have been very active in the Twin Cities community, specializing in bringing ''Chad's lockers'' to hospitals in the metro area and beyond. The Greenways have installed seven lockers in area hospitals that provide toys, games and electronics to help make hospital stays easier for children.

Last year Greenway was the team's nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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