Vikings sign G Herrera to 5-year contract extension

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings signed right guard Anthony Herrera to a five-year contract extension on Wednesday.

The Vikings have spent dozens of millions of dollars on the left side of their offensive line, tackle Bryant McKinnie and guard Steve Hutchinson, plus center Matt Birk. This was the first long-term investment they've made in the right side since signing tackle Mike Rosenthal as a free agent before the 2003 season.

Herrera, who took over for Artis Hicks as the starter for the Oct. 14 game at Chicago, has finally brought some stability to the unit. Undrafted out of Tennessee in 2004, Herrera has stuck around long enough to win the favor of two different coaching staffs. The extension was the biggest sign of the organization's confidence.

"Every time you get an opportunity in this league, you've got to do your best to take advantage of it," Herrera said after practice.

Over the six games the 6-foot-2, 315-pound Herrera has started, the Vikings have rushed for an average of more than 200 yards. That included rookie Adrian Peterson's 224-yard performance against the Bears and his NFL-record 296 yards rushing against the San Diego Chargers on Nov. 4.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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