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Minnesota legend Blake Cashman signs with Vikings

Former Gophers LB Blake Cashman signed a a three-year deal worth up to $25.5 million with the Minnesota Vikings.



The two-day negotiating period before the NFL’s league year begins officially started today, marking the start of free agency. Former Gophers star Blake Cashman was one of the hottest linebackers on the market coming off a year where he had 106 total tackles, earning one of the highest PFF grades in the league. It was a breakout season for Cashman starting more games (13) than he did in his previous four years combined (8).

Nearly 28 years old and having only one year of consistent production, he wasn’t going to warrant extremely high money, so the Minnesota Vikings made sense. The Eden Prairie, Minnesota native will be coming home once again, signing a three-year deal worth up to $25.5 million according to Tom Pelissero.

Remarkable Journey:

After playing high school football at Minnesota prep powerhouse Eden Prairie, Cashman did not receive any Division I offers, so he opted to to join the Gophers as a preferred walk-on as a 6-foot, 200-pound. The program in turmoil as head coach Jerry Kill was out the door and Tracy Claeys was coming in.

Cashman made noise quickly as a true freshman, playing 13 games on special teams, recording five tackles. As a sophomore he was a full-time defensive player, playing in every game again, recording 45 tackles with a team leading 7.5 sacks, capping the season with a Holiday Bowl Defensive Most Valuable Player Award. It was much of the same success as a junior with 30 tackles. He broke out in his senior season in 2018, leading the team with 104 tackles (62 solo), 2.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss, earning second-team All-Big Ten honors. It was one of the best LB seasons at the program since the turn of the millennium.

After declaring for the draft he was selected in the 5th round, 157th overall by the New York Jets. He was the first Minnesota player drafted under PJ Fleck. He struggled to catch on in New York, recording only 49 tackles across his first three seasons as he dealt with a handful of injuries. It wasn’t until year two with the Texans that he broke out, but he sure did.

Now with the Vikings, his $8.5 million dollar salary will make him the sixth-highest paid inside linebacker in the NFL. His journey from preferred walk-on to one of the best linebackers in the NFL is nothing short of remarkable. He might’ve not been recruited by Fleck and his staff, but he is one of the players that should be credited in laying the foundation in making the Gophers program what it is today.

A lifelong Minnesota sports fan, Tony Liebert is one of the biggest voices in Gophers sports coverage and the owner of Within the realm of credentialed media, Tony refined his abilities while serving as the lead writer for Gopherhole and as the sports editor at the Minnesota Daily during various stages of his career. Work has been featured on Bleacher Report, Yardbarker, and more.