Mike Harris – Guard
Exceeded all expectations last year at right guard, then came back on a cheap one-year deal after finding little market in free agency. Will likely have to win the right guard spot over Brandon Fusco.
Andre Smith – Tackle
1-year contract. $3.5 million up to $4.5 million with incentives. $1 million guaranteed.
A bargain at right tackle if he ends up starting. His compensation-level is reasonable for a top backup. Easy to cut if it doesn’t work out. Vikings covered themselves well with this contract.
Phil Loadholt – Tackle
Another team-friendly contract. Will be in the conversation to start at right tackle, but has an uphill battle coming back from an Achilles tear. Affordable depth.
Brandon Fusco – Guard
The Vikings locked Fusco up to a long-term deal two years ago when it looked like he was developing into a top-notch right guard, but things fell apart last year after he was moved to left guard. He will be moving back to right guard this year. Fusco is making considerably more than Mike Harris so you have to figure it will take quite a bit for Fusco to get knocked off at right guard.
John Sullivan – Center
A mystery-guest at this point. The Vikings say his back is doing better but they said that before last season too and he ended up on IR. It’s still possible that he ends up retiring, so it’s good the Vikings have Joe Berger.
Alex Boone – Guard
The Vikes had to make at least one semi-big free agent move on the line and Boone was that move. Fans have already fallen in love with Boone’s feisty attitude. The Boone signing supposedly signals that the Vikings are moving on from the “cerebral” approach they formerly adopted to a more “nasty” approach. The contract is not overly burdensome.
Matt Kalil – Tackle
Ideally, the Vikings would have preferred not to pay Matt Kalil $11.1 million for one year, but that’s just how it goes. In the end, the Vikes couldn’t afford to not bring Kalil back. Now Kalil has a season under Tony Sparano to prove that he is worthy of keeping around for the future. Can Sparano coach Kalil to play “nasty” again like he did his rookie year?