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More contract extensions may be coming for Vikings defenders

The Minnesota Vikings have extended two of their biggest defensive stars and hope that results in a return to form for that side of the field.

The Vikings signed defensive end Everson Griffen to a contract extension last week and gave cornerback Xavier Rhodes a big deal on Sunday in two moves that may be joined by others as the team looks to lock up key members of their defense.

Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press reports that there have been discussions about new deals for linebacker Anthony Barr and defensive tackle Linval Joseph. Tomasson adds that Joseph may be a likelier next target for an extension.

Defense has been the team’s strength the last few years, so it comes as little surprise that they’d like to keep the band together in Minnesota for as long as possible. Barr, who was a first-round pick in 2014, and Joseph, who signed with the team as a free agent the same year, are both under team control through next season.

The activity may not end there. Tomasson reports there’s interest in extending linebacker Eric Kendricks, who can’t sign an extension until the offseason because he’s only played two years since being drafted in the second round in 2015. That will also be when defensive end Danielle Hunter is eligible for an extension and 18.5 sacks in his first two seasons could make him a candidate for another contract, although the realities of the salary cap mean they may not be able to hold onto everyone.