Dec 9, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings tackle Phil Loadholt (71) reacts to a false start call against him in the game with the Chicago Bears in the third quarter at the Metrodome. The Vikings win 24-14. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Loadholt Could Be Headed to the Bears

You know how bad that Bears offensive line is. Well Chicago has a plan for fixing that problem. And that plan may include the Vikings’ Phil Loadholt. A source tells Brad Biggs the Bears are “hot” for the Vikings’ right tackle. The Vikes are expected to bid for Loadholt but likely won’t go over $5 million-per-year according to Tom Pelissero.

The Vikes had a chance to franchise tag Loadholt and keep him off the market but elected not to do that. Tagging him and paying him for one year would have cost over $9 million and clearly that was too much. But they could possibly have tagged him then negotiated a deal and removed the tag, reducing his 2013 to something reasonable. It’s moot now because they didn’t tag him and he’s hit the market. And he may have a suitor willing to pay him more than the Vikings.

If Loadholt leaves, the Vikes may sign a free agent or they may go with Troy Kropog who was signed last year off the practice squad to protect him from being snapped up. Ideally they’d like to keep Loadholt who is a solid run blocker but they’re obviously not willing to overpay. Rick Spielman economics at work.

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