Oct 13, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings tackle Charlie Johnson (74) blocks against the Carolina Panthers in the first quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Panthers win 35-10. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings Bring Back Charlie Johnson On Two-Year Deal


Charlie Johnson’s contract voided the Friday after the Super Bowl, making him a free agent.

When the dust had settled on the early stages of free agency, and the Vikings looked around for a veteran guard, they couldn’t find anyone any better than the guy they had allowed to walk.

So, the Vikings brought back Charlie Johnson on a two-year, $5 million contract.

Johnson was undoubtedly the weak link on the offensive line last year, a liability in pass protection and barely adequate in run blocking.

The move to retain him may frustrate some fans who were looking for an upgrade there, but clearly the Vikings had other priorities in the first days of free agency.

Trust me, the Vikings have no interest in leaving Johnson at left guard a second longer than they need to. They just weren’t going to break the bank bringing in a replacement.

Johnson is the veteran guy who fills that position until a young player can be developed to take his place. Jeff Baca is the most obvious option currently on the roster, but the Vikings could also look to the draft.

The team’s philosophy for several years now has been to draft developmental players at the guard and center spots and let them grow into starters with veterans as insurance.

This plan worked with John Sullivan, who initially was behind Matt Birk. It worked for Brandon Fusco who initially was paired with Geoff Schwartz.

They’ll try it again at left guard, possibly drafting someone in the middle rounds. Maybe Billy Turner, a promising North Dakota State prospect who drew attention from the Vikings at the Senior Bowl.

Johnson brings a bit of extra value as he can also play tackle.

Had Johnson by some miracle scored a deal elsewhere, the Vikings were prepared to kick the tires on a bunch of second-tier free agents including Daryn Colledge, Vlad Ducasse and Travelle Wharton.

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Tags: Charlie Johnson Minnesota Vikings

  • Frank Weems

    This was an awful move on behalf on this organization. We simply cannot enter the 2014 season with him as the starting RG. I hope we find a suitable starter in the draft

  • David Mallow

    Hes actually the LG and he is decent, depending on the scheme because he is only suited for certain schemes… they have a future starter at the position in Baca but he must not be where they need him to be. They could draft another LG or just go with Johnson one more year unless Baca beats him for the job during camp..

  • jacknine

    Given that Norv Turner must have had major input, I suspect that there is a significant scheme issue going on. It never made sense that a decent LT became a horrible LG, especially playing next to Khalil.

    • http://www.therightperspective.org/Audio/nimshows/ BigBoa

      Explain? Please….

  • Eddie Torres

    All I can say is I hope that all the Vikings needed is a new coaching staff to put them in the super bowl because for the most part we still have the same guys going out there to play..

    • jacknine

      No one is talking Superbowl next year but the changes have already been substantial where it matters. The offense, even with the QB carousel, ranked 14 in scoring. The D line has 3 new starters, a starting CB and depth in secondary has been added, 2 talented rookies did not see playing time last year at LB, and we have 4 picks in the first 3 rounds. That could easily mean 6 new starters on defense, Griffin, Floyd, Joseph, Munnerlyn, Hodges and/or Mauti, and a couple of the incoming rookies from the first 2 rounds. That is better than 50% turnover on defense.

      And yes, they have a new coaching staff as well.

  • http://www.therightperspective.org/Audio/nimshows/ BigBoa

    Sweet…..we can keep Pound-me at QB and draft a new OL at 8……recipe for the SB…..

  • http://www.therightperspective.org/Audio/nimshows/ BigBoa

    Supposedly they are looking to keep “veteran leadership” in the locker room…..while they just let one of the league’s finest pass rushers, a man who showed for every game REGARDLESS of whether they were winning or losing and missed no games during his time here, walk.

    While JA may well be on the downside of his career, he STILL is feared by QBs and shows real leadership and heart. Hope management didn’t listen too close to all those “experts” that insisted they shouldn’t pay him and now can’t wait to sign him themselves….

    • David Mallow

      There is NO ONE lining up to sign an againg DE for more than 12 million per year. Yes he had some great years for the Vikes but he isnt worth the money any longer. Also he struggles mightily against the run in his recent years, so its actually a good decision to get younger at the position and look to the future.. JA will be missed but all good things MUST come to an end…

      • http://www.therightperspective.org/Audio/nimshows/ BigBoa

        They would be better off to keep him for one more year through the transition. It may have cost more, but it would still be money better spent than this. Jared has far more leadership, and even in his waning years, more talent.

        Won’t it be fun to watch him sack Pound-me 8 or 9 times a season?