Just call Visanthe Shiancoe a late bloomer.
The 91st overall pick of the 2003 draft spent four years in obscurity as a Giants reserve. Even after Shiancoe found a role with the Vikings in 2007, even the most dedicated of gridiron enthusiasts would’ve been hard-pressed to identify the tight end walking down the street—let alone justify the five-year, $18.2 million dollar deal ($7 million guaranteed) that Minnesota sent his way.
Since then, however, the Vikings’ investment in Shiancoe has yielded considerable returns. He posted his most productive season in the league in the first year of the deal, and started knocking on the door of the upper echelon of NFL tight ends in the second.
What makes Shiancoe’s motor run on the field? What keeps him busy away from the game? And what else do Vikings fans need to know to understand the man behind No. 81?