Vikings ink top pick Kalil to complete draft class

Associated Press  |  Last updated July 26, 2012
The biggest beneficiary of Matt Kalil's arrival in Minnesota is unquestionably quarterback Christian Ponder. Whether with dinner, golfing or joyriding on teammate Kyle Rudolph's boat, Ponder has pounced on the opportunity to welcome Kalil to the Vikings, fully realizing how much he needs his rookie left tackle to protect him this season and beyond. So, naturally, Ponder was the one who picked up Kalil at the airport Thursday on his way to sign his first NFL contract. ''I should take at least half of a percent,'' Ponder said. The day before the first practice of training camp, Kalil signed a four-year contract worth almost $20 million with more than $12 million guaranteed, the last and most important member of the team's draft class to finalize a deal. Kalil, the fourth overall selection from USC, had no interest in holding out. ''You want to get in sync with the offensive players and learn everything you can,'' Kalil said. ''Any day missed could have hurt me.'' That's exactly what head coach Leslie Frazier wanted to hear. ''He's a key part of what we're trying to do in 2012, and I don't know who his happier, him or Christian Ponder,'' Frazier said. Since Ponder introduced himself on Kalil's first day at Winter Park after the draft, they've become fast friends. ''We've been hanging out every day since. It was an immediate connection,'' Kalil said. Ponder is quite the socialite among his teammates, a sign of not only an outgoing guy but a player with understanding of his leadership responsibility at the most critical position on the team. ''It's important for us to build those relationships off the field and get to know each other on a personal level, and it makes things so much easier when something is going wrong or something is going right to talk about different things,'' Ponder said. Kalil has been at the top of his list. ''He's a great guy. He's a fun guy to be around, and hopefully we'll be together in a Vikings uniform for a long time,'' Ponder said. ''That's what's exciting about this team. We're so young, and a lot of us can be together for a long time.'' --- Follow Dave Campbell on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DaveCampbellAP
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving ate the Celtics’ heart during the second half of Game 4

NFL to reportedly bring back fun touchdown celebrations

Mike Trout explains why he doesn’t look at advanced stats

Reds’ Joey Votto shuts down heckler with “I remember when you used to be thin”

Rob Gronkowski gets new contract, chance to double salary

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Padres offering $99 ticket plan for five June wins or 16 June games – whatever happens first

Former Jets WR Devin Smith found out he was cut via Twitter

Roger Goodell tweets ‘Key & Peele’ joke about relaxed celebration rules

Martavis Bryant: ‘I know this is my last chance’

Glennon: ‘This is my year and I’m not worried about the future’

Durant apologizes for response to fans complaining about blowouts

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker