Most Vikings fans have already labeled Tight End John Carlson to be a bust. When he first signed on to the squad from the Seattle Seahawks, his contract was for 5 years and totalled $25 million. After struggling to stay healthy in the first year of his contract, the Vikings gave John Carlson another chance to shine in Minnesota. Carlson and the team negotiated a restructure that cut his base salary in 2013 by $1.4 million.
Last season, Carlson finished with career low totals in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. He battled issues with his knee and concussions. Despite these issues, John Carlson has showed up to Organized Team Activities focused and eager to participate.
Carlson said to 1500 ESPN, “It’s been encouraging to be around guys the last five weeks, because everyone’s come back so focused and in great shape. I want to push myself as a player, but what that equates to in terms of numbers, that’s hard to say.”
Vikings Coach Leslie Frazier believes that, if healthy, John Carlson can become a down-the-field threat. He filled that role in Seattle by proving that he is a reliable pass catcher and can move the chains when needed. For now, Carlson is focusing on his footwork and other basics,
Coach Frazier had some more words to say about the Vikings Tight End: “He’s a very talented guy, but he’s had trouble staying on the field. When we sat down and talked, one of his goals: stay healthy. If we can get him through OTAs, get him through training camp, into regular season, we feel his numbers will be a lot better. We’re all hoping he can stay healthy.”
We can assume that the Vikings still believe John Carlson can be a solid contributor to the team, but the fans remain unsure. Hopefully this season Carlson can find the production to silence his critics.