Aug 16, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Minnesota Vikings guard Charlie Johnson (74) on the sideline during the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Vikings 20-16. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Is Charlie Johnson’s job in trouble?

For a couple years now, the Minnesota Vikings have shown stability along their offensive line.  They have graded out well by Pro Football Focus and are one of the strengths of an otherwise inconsistent offense.

Last year’s starting offensive linemen have all returned from last year.  Here was the lineup:

October 14, 2012; Landover, MD, USA; Minnesota Vikings guard Charlie Johnson (74) blocks against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 38-26. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Looking at this lineup, it should be fairly obvious that the weak link is at left guard and his name is Charlie Johnson.

Johnson’s position may be in more jeopardy than he might think.  This new coaching staff shows no allegiance to the starters of the past and he will have to beat out some pretty tough competition to keep the starting gig.

This offseason alone, Minnesota has brought multiple people to compete with him.  Free agents Vladamir Ducasse and Joe Berger will compete, but the biggest competition could come from a fifth round draft pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

If healthy, David Yankey is my favorite to win the job.  Not only is his contract much more manageable than Charlie Johnson’s, but he is much more athletic than him.

Another hope for Charlie Johnson is that he will be the swing tackle for Minnesota, but even that could be a longshot.  The Vikings have been in talks with their swing tackle from last year, J’Marcus Webb and got a steal in undrafted free agent Antonio “Tiny” Richardson.

The only thing really saving Johnson at this point is his contract.  His deal is worth $5 million over two years with $1.5 million in guaranteed money.  The guaranteed money would all be lost if the Vikings decide to release him.  However, it would be a shame if the only reason Minnesota holds on to Charlie Johnson is because they overpaid for him and not because he has the talent to earn the job.

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Tags: Charlie Johnson David Yankey Joe Berger Minnesota Vikings Vladamir Ducasse

  • jacknine

    If they replace him with a 5th round pick, they will save money by releasing him, even with the $1.5 guaranteed.

  • David Mallow

    Yankey will take the job from Charlie, but I still think Johnson will be a key part of the line rotation…Kalil, Richardson, Yankey, Duccase, Sullivan, Berger, Baca, Wentworth, Fusco, Loadholt, Remmers, Murphy. alot of depth, Hope he brings his best for a chance to keep his job

  • Daniel Laxen

    The team always needs depth at the O-line positions and I’d think he would make the team. Depending on the new kids on the block I’d suggest his days in Minnesota are indeed numbered…Last season with the vikings.

  • Gordon Guffey

    I was shocked when Yankey was still their in the 5th ~ However the scouts know far more than I do so there is a reason he was stil there in the 5th ~ So I’m not so sure Yankey takes Johnson’s job ~ It would be great if Yankey could come in and play outstanding football while holding down the left OG job ~ We will see soon enough ~

    • kyle

      I think he dropped simply because of the depth of the draft, but what do I know?

  • yortzme

    anyone know if we have a backup long snapper now that Jared Allen left

    • Adam Carlson

      Great question. I have no clue. Will have to research that a bit.

  • 3kolu

    The best case scenario for the Vikings is that they’d have to eat the guaranteed money. That would make the O Line better across the lines. Johnson does offer versatility,but we need better line play esp. at the guard position.