Moritz Boehringer is learning that life moves quickly in America. The Minnesota Vikings’ newest wide receiver was drafted in the sixth round on Saturday, fielded questions from reporters on Sunday, and found himself at Winter Park on Monday. There, he became the first 2016 NFL Draft pick to sign a contract.
According to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press, the German receiver signed a four-year, $2.49 million deal, which includes a $150,420 signing bonus. He isn’t just the first rookie to sign a contract; he’s also the first ever rookie to be drafted directly from Europe.
Tomasson reports that Boehringer’s deal was executed so quickly to expedite the receiver’s acquisition of a work visa. Without a P-1 visa, the German import can’t participate in Minnesota’s rookie minicamp, which runs from Friday to Sunday later this week.
Now that the ink is officially dry, Boehringer can begin the transition from the National German Football League to the NFL, where he’ll be tested like never before. Despite catching 164 passes for 4,327 yards and 57 touchdowns in Germany, the Vikings still don’t know how he’ll play when he hits the American field.
“Watching YouTube, he runs and he catches, and then he runs around all the guys on the German YouTube,” general manager Rick Spielman said after the draft. “That’ll be very exciting to see him come in and just see how far away he is or how close he is.”
The highlight tape is sure to open the eyes of fans — Boehringer truly does run around (and past) every other player on the field. He’s taller, faster, and stronger than those attempting — and failing — to bring him down. But the unknown still lingers around a player who only discovered football at 17 years old after watching Adrian Peterson highlights.
It’s quite the story, and it’s one we’ll be sure to cover as Boehringer gets closer to playing his first snap as a Viking. Whether or not he succeeds immediately or struggles against stiffer competition, it’s a journey worth following.
Congratulations to Moritz on the monumental moment!