Nick Easton will reportedly return to the Minnesota Vikings in 2018

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The offensive lineman is will reportedly sign his second-round tender on Monday and join the Minnesota Vikings for the 2018 season.

Compared to the first three years of Mike Zimmer’s tenure with the Minnesota Vikings, the team’s offensive line was better than ever in 2017.

Last season, Football Outsiders ranked the Vikings’ offensive line as the NFL’s sixth-best in pass protection. This was the first time Minnesota had ranked higher than 17th in this category since Zimmer was hired to be the team’s head coach in 2014.

Contributing to this success last season was Nick Easton. With the Vikings in 2017, Easton spent most of his time as the team’s starting left guard before suffering a season-ending, broken ankle in Week 16.

Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings /

Minnesota Vikings

Heading into the 2018 offseason, the young offensive lineman was scheduled to be a restricted free-agent. But before the new league year even began, Minnesota made sure to put a second-round tender on Easton.

Meaning, if another team were to sign him this year, the Vikings would have received a second-round draft selection in return.

However, it doesn’t look like Minnesota is going to be getting another second-round pick this year just yet as Easton will reportedly sign his tender on Monday (worth $2.91 million) according to NFL reporter Jason La Canfora. The offensive lineman will now be with the Vikings through the 2018 season before becoming a free-agent again in 2019.

It’s possible that he could have some competition this summer, but it seems safe to assume that Easton will likely be Minnesota’s starting left guard for the 2018 season.

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With his deal only being for one year though, it not only allows Minnesota to have some continuity on their line for next season, but they also now have time to groom another player to possibly take Easton’s starting spot in 2019.