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Vikings reward Childress with contract extension through 2013

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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The man who brought Brett Favre to the Minnesota Vikings will stick around for a while.

The Vikings signed coach Brad Childress to a contract extension Thursday, nine games into what is shaping up as a promising season for the men in purple. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but a league source told NFL Network's Jason La Canfora that the new contract runs through the 2013 season.

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"Brad has done a tremendous job leading this football team and we value the positive environment he has created for the Minnesota Vikings on and off the field," Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said in a statement issued by the team. "He has continued to positively impact this team and create a strong foundation for future success."

Childress, who's in the fourth year of his original five-year, $10 million deal, was hired in 2006 to take over a team in turmoil. The Vikings had become a national punchline for a string of incidents that occured under Mike Tice, including the infamous "Love Boat" scandal and the coach's admission to scalping Super Bowl tickets, which prompted Wilf to institute a code of conduct for the organization.

Childress has restored order and dignity to the franchise, and he also has done plenty of winning of late. The Vikings have improved each year under Childress' watch. They went 6-10 in 2006, 8-8 in 2007 and 10-6 with an NFC North title last season.

This season, Childress convinced Favre to come out of retirement one more time to join the Vikings, even going so far as to pick up the quarterback at the airport on the day of his arrival in August. Favre leads the NFL in passer rating, has thrown for 17 touchdowns and just three interceptions and helped put the Vikings (8-1) in position to compete for the NFC's top playoff seed.

"I am grateful for the opportunity I was given," Childress said at a news conference earlier Thursday. "I've got a good group of guys in the locker room, which I've said over and over. I've got a great ownership group. Not only am I grateful for them, they've been good owners from a standpoint of empowering us with players. They listen. There's a good dialogue."

The Wilf family has broken the bank to sign big-money players such as defensive end Jared Allen, guard Steve Hutchinson and wide receiver Bernard Berrian. They also have poured money into upgrading the team's headquarters and steadfastly supported Childress even when he was the subject of criticism by fans early in his tenure.

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"They have to buy into the vision of how you see the Minnesota Vikings going forward, and we've been good enough to be able to fulfill part of that vision," Childress said.

The next step is to do some damage in the playoffs. The Vikings were beaten at home by the Philadelphia Eagles in the first round last season, the first time that Childress has been a head coach during the postseason.

Thanks to the addition of Favre, Minnesota is much more balanced this season. The Vikings already have built a commanding three-game lead on the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North and are one game behind the New Orleans Saints for the best record in the conference.

Childress, Wilf and the rest of the Vikings organization were unavailable for further comment after the news was announced on Thursday night.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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