Vikings Rumors: 49ers OG Mike Iupati Contacted by Minnesota


If there’s one thing you can bank on in this year’s free agency period it’s that the Vikings will be pursuing a new starter at left guard.

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Lower-cost options on the free agent market include Cincinnati’s Clint Boling and Mike Pollak and Indianapolis’ Joe Reitz. If the Vikings want to go more expensive, there’s San Francisco’s Mike Iupati.

If we take Rick Spielman at his word when he says he won’t aggressively pursue expensive free agents, then Iupati would seem to be out of the Vikings’ price range.

If we allow for the possibility that Spielman might have been fibbing when he said the Vikings would sit back? Then Iupati is in the picture.

As it happens, according to the Pioneer-Press, Iupati is very much in the picture at least initially. Chris Thomasson reports that the Vikings have been in contact with representatives for the three-time Pro Bowler.

The San Diego Chargers are also believed to be very much interested in Iupati, and they have a lot of money to spend. Other teams will no doubt be in on Iupati as well so expect the bidding for his services to get very hot very fast.

Iupati would no doubt be an upgrade over last year’s left guard Charlie Johnson who was recently cut. However, Iupati is not necessarily considered a great pass protector, and pass protection was the biggest concern last year on the offensive line.

There’s no doubt about Iupati’s run blocking ability; he is one of the best in the league at his position when it comes to slobber-knocking in the run game.

Though Iupati would be an interesting addition to the Vikings (at least as a run blocker), I can’t see Rick Spielman chasing him hard if the bidding gets hairy. When the Vikings do land a guard, I expect it will be one of the lesser names mentioned early in the post. Or perhaps a cast-off like former Falcons OG Justin Blalock.

Anybody but Charlie Johnson would be good at this point, I think we all agree.

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