Bears

What to expect from Kevin Warren: A timeline of his tenure with the Minnesota Vikings

Kevin Warren, who served as the Minnesota Vikings executive vice president legal affairs from 2005-2019, speaks during a news conference in September 2014.

New Bears president and CEO Kevin Warren will arrive at Halas Hall in the spring after three years running the Big Ten. He also brings with him previous experience running an NFL organization.

From 2015-19, Warren ran the business side of the Minnesota Vikings. He worked for the Vikings organization for a total of 15 years.

Below is a timeline of the notable events, both on the football field and off of it, that happened with the Minnesota Vikings while Warren worked for the team.

2005: Zygi Wilf and partners bought the Minnesota Vikings from Red McCombs for a reported $600 million. Kevin Warren, who worked for the law firm Greenberg Traurig, represented Wilf and his partners during their bid for the team. The Vikings then hired Warren as their executive vice president of legal affairs and chief administration officer.

May 30, 2006: The Vikings hired Rick Spielman as vice president of player personnel, the de facto general manager. He ran the football side of the organization until he was fired on Jan. 10, 2022.

April 19, 2007: The Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority unveiled their initial pitch for a new indoor stadium in Minneapolis. No proposals were made for funding the stadium. The stadium proposed in 2007 never came to be.

Minnesota Vikings No. 1 draft choice, running back Adrian Peterson from Oklahoma, holds up his new Vikings jersey with his father, Nelson Peterson, left, and mother, Bonita Peterson, right, at an introductory news conference at the the Vikings' training facility in Eden Prairie, Minn., on Sunday morning, April 29, 2007.

April 28, 2007: The Vikings selected running back Adrian Peterson with the seventh overall pick in the draft.

2008 season: The Vikings returned to the playoffs for the first time in four years, losing in the wild card round.

Aug. 18, 2009: Brett Favre signed a two-year, $25 million contract to play quarterback for the Vikings. The Vikings went 12-4 in his first season in Minneapolis and lost in the NFC Championship Game.

October 2010: The NFL investigated Favre for allegedly sending suggestive text messages and explicit photos to a Jets employee during the 2008 season when he was the Jets’ quarterback. Favre was later fined $50,000 for failing to cooperate with the investigation.

Nov. 22, 2010: The Vikings fired coach Brad Childress after an underwhelming performance by his team in 2010. They named Leslie Frazier the interim coach. Frazier was later retained full time.

In this Dec. 12, 2010, file photo, snow falls into the field from a hole in the collapsed roof of the Metrodome in Minneapolis.

Dec. 12, 2010: During a snow storm, the Metrodome’s inflatable roof collapsed around 5 a.m. on the morning of a Vikings home game against the New York Giants. The game had to be moved to Detroit and played the following day.

Jan. 17, 2011: Brett Favre retired for the third time, just weeks after his final game, which happened to be a loss to the Bears at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium.

April 28, 2011: The Vikings selected quarterback Christian Ponder from Florida State with the 11th overall draft pick.

Spring 2011: Two competing proposals emerged for a new Vikings stadium. The city of Minneapolis submitted a plan for a new stadium at the site of the Metrodome. Ramsey County announced its own proposed stadium in the suburbs.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder is sacked by New Orleans Saints defensive lineman Tom Johnson during the 2011 season.

2011 season: The Vikings finished a miserable 3-13 during the 2011 season with the rookie Ponder starting 10 games.

2012: Warren was inducted into into the Grand Canyon University Athletics Hall of Fame for his exploits on the Antelopes’ basketball team in the 1980s.

March 1, 2012: Gov. Mark Dayton announced an agreement for a new stadium at the site of the Metrodome. The Minnesota legislature approved funding for the stadium on May 10, with the the state covering $348 million and $150 million in hospitality tax in Minneapolis. The total cost of the stadium was estimated to be $975 million.

Dec. 30, 2012: Adrian Peterson rushed for 199 yards and finished the season with 2,097 rushing yards – eight yards shy of the NFL record. This was just a year after tearing his ACL in December 2011. The Vikings beat the Packers in the season finale to make the playoffs, but lost to the Packers in a rematch a week later in the wild card round.

2013: Warren was named a member of the NFL committee on workplace diversity.

May 13, 2013: The Vikings unveiled the stadium design for what would eventually become U.S. Bank Stadium.

Dec. 30, 2013: The Vikings fired coach Leslie Frazier after a 5-10-1 season.

Jan. 15, 2014: The Vikings hired Mike Zimmer as head coach.

May 8, 2014: Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater goes 32nd overall in the draft to the Vikings.

Members of the Minnesota Vikings front office, Kevin Warren, center left, Tanya Dreesen, center, and Matt Muenier, center right, celebrate with Richard Davis, right, CEO of U.S. Bank and the  Minneapolis bid committee co-chair, after Minneapolis was selected as the host for 2018 Super Bowl at the NFL's spring meetings, Tuesday, May 20, 2014, in Atlanta.

May 20, 2014: The NFL awarded Minneapolis Super Bowl LII, which would be hosted at the new stadium. Later that year, the NCAA announced that the 2019 Final Four would be in Minneapolis.

Sept. 12, 2014: Star running back Adrian Peterson was indicted in Texas on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child. Peterson was accused of repeatedly hitting his 4-year-old son with a tree branch. The indictment came just days after the season opener. The Vikings deactivated Peterson in Week 2, but the team reinstated him and planned to play him in Week 3. Following hearings with the league that week, the Vikings placed Peterson on the exempt/commissioner’s permission list, which allowed them to sideline him without costing them a roster spot. Peterson did not play the remainder of the season and was effectively on paid leave. In November, the league suspended him for the remainder of the season without pay.

February 2015: Warren was promoted to chief operating officer of the Vikings. In his new role, he oversaw all business operations of the franchise.

August 2015: The Vikings signed a purchase agreement to buy a 185-acre site for a new practice facility in Eagan, Minnesota.

2015 season: Peterson returned to the team and rushed for 1,485 yard, while quarterback Teddy Bridgewater helped guide the Vikings to an 11-5 regular season record and a return to the postseason. The Vikings lost the Seahawks in the wild card round of the playoffs.

Aug. 28, 2016: The Vikings hosted their first preseason game at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Sept. 3, 2016: The Vikings traded for former No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford in a blockbuster deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, just days after Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater tore his ACL in practice. With Bradford at QB, the Vikings started the 2016 season 5-0, but fell apart down the stretch, finishing 8-8.

Feb. 28, 2017: The Vikings announced they would not exercise the option on Adrian Peterson’s contract, making him a free agent after nearly 10 years with the organization.

2017 season: QB Teddy Bridgewater’s injury necessitated he miss a second consecutive season. Bradford once again began the season as the starter, but injured his knee in the Week 1 opener. The Vikings turned to quarterback Case Keenum. They tried to bring Bradford back in Week 5, but he re-aggravated his knee and the team shut him down midway through that game. Keenum finished out the season as the starter and led the Vikings to a 13-3 season, including an appearance in the NFC Championship game. In a divisional round playoff game against the New Orleans Saints, Keenum connected with receiver Stefon Diggs for a game-winning Hail Mary touchdown that became known as the “Minneapolis Miracle.”

U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis just days before hosting Super Bowl LII in February 2018.

Feb. 4, 2018: U.S. Bank Stadium hosts Super Bowl LII. The Eagles upset the Patriots in the big game.

February 2018: The Vikings completed construction of their new training facility. The staff moved in shortly afterward. The Vikings reportedly spent $90 million on the new facility, which included an indoor field, several outdoor fields and a 6,000-seat stadium.

March 15, 2018: The Vikings signed free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins to a three-year, $84 million contract. It was the first quarterback contract that was fully guaranteed. At the time, Cousins’ $28 million per year salary was the highest ever in NFL history.

2018 season: The Vikings finished a disappointing 8-7-1 and missed the postseason.

Jun 4, 2019: The Big Ten announced Warren as its next commissioner. Warren became the Big Ten commissioner-elect in September and officially took over the job in January 2020.

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for Shaw Media. He also contributes to high school football coverage at Friday Night Drive. Sean has covered various sports at the amateur, college and professional levels since 2012. He joined Shaw Media in 2016.