Marcus Johnson, the guy a lot of us thought would wind up being the Vikings‘ right tackle for years to come, has left Minnesota and signed with the Oakland Raiders. Johnson, we recall, was drafted in 2005 out of Mississippi, and wound up in a starting right tackle rotation with Adam Goldberg. The end of the Mike Tice era spelled the end of Johnson’s run, however: Brad Childress spent a draft pick on Ryan Cook and began rotating him and Johnson, and finally ended up giving the starting job to his guy Cook at the expense of the incumbent. Johnson spent the 2007 and 2008 seasons watching from the bench, often inactive, never getting a chance to win back his job in spite of Cook’s clear ineptitude. Now the Vikings find themselves without a viable starting option at right tackle, and Johnson has moved on to black-and-silverer pastures.
Far be it from me to question Brad Childress’s player evaluation skills, but I just have to wonder why Johnson never seemed to get a fair shake. I realize he was never going to be Korey Stringer, but when you consider the crap we’ve had playing over there the last couple years, it does seem silly that Johnson never got any real playing time. Was he really going to be worse than Cook? Tarvaris Jackson and Cook have arguably been Chilly’s two most questionable draft picks – most agree that both were reaches at the spot they were taken – and he seems unwilling to concede defeat on either guy. Cripes Chilly, we all make mistakes. Just admit it and move on.