Alexander Shun | @alexpshun
Digital Content Manager | KFAN.com
Monday was a bittersweet day for the Minnesota Vikings and their fans as it was announced longtime linebacker Chad Greenway would be calling it a career after 11 seasons with the team.
Drafted in the 2006 NFL Draft with the 17th overall selection, Greenway was the first draft pick under the leadership of the Wilf family and ownership group, and the pick was a good one.
In his career Greenway racked up 1,289 career tackles - fourth-most in team history - including 18.0 sacks to go with 11 interceptions, eight forced fumbles and two touchdowns. The former Iowa Hawkeye was also named to two Pro Bowls (2012, 2013) and was second-team All-Pro in 2012 in his career while being named the Vikings' defensive MVP 2010, 2012 and 2013.
His 18.0 sacks ranks third in Vikings history in career sacks by a linebacker and his 11 interceptions rank tied for fifth in Vikings history in career picks by a linebacker with Scott Studwell and Jeff Siemon.
Greenway was an ironman at the linebacker position for Minnesota, playing in 156 career games and starting 144 of them including five playoff games.
In a reduced role last season, Greenway played in all 16 games (nine starts) and finished the year with 41 tackles and one interception.
Greenway, who is tied with Studwell for the most consecutive seasons leading the Vikings in tackles with six from 2008-2013, was named to the All-Mall of America Field Team in 2013, a recognition as one of the greatest Vikings to play in the Metrodome during its 32-year existence.
As great a career as Greenway had on the field, he was also a true role model off the field receiving the honor of being named the Byron "Whizzer" White Award winner in 2015 by the NFL Players association and named the Vikings Community Man of the Year in 2011, 2014 and 2015.
The former first-round draft pick also received the Korey Stringer Good Guy Award in 2012, an honor given annually by members of the Twin Cities media.
In 2008, Greenway established his charitable foundation, Chad Greenway’s Lead The Way Foundation, with the primary focus of providing seriously ill and physically challenged children throughout the Twin Cities with daily support and life-changing experiences. The mission of Chad Greenway’s Lead The Way Foundation is to enrich the lives of individuals and families in need.
Through his Lead The Way Foundation, Greenway launched three major programs that include Field of Dreams (presents critically and chronically ill children and their families with magical memories by fulfilling sports wishes and vacation dreams, Chad's Locker (provides patients and their families access to notebook computers, video game systems and movies to occupy their time during their hospital stay) and, perhaps his most well-known program, TendHER Heart Luncheon.
The TendHER Heart Luncheon is hosted each year to honor mothers of chronically and critically ill children for the sacrifices they make in caring for their ill child. The brunch provides these women with the opportunity to 'take a minute' for themselves and enjoy each other's company and support. The mothers are served gourmet breakfast and lunch dishes.
While Greenway will not be playing football anymore, one can be assured that his incredible charitable work off the field will continue.
The soon-to-be former Vikings linebacker has a wife, Jennifer, and four children.
Greenway and the Vikings will hold a press conference on Tuesday morning announcing Greenway's retirement and will be aired LIVE at 11:00 A.M. CST on KFAN 100.3 FM.