The Minnesota Vikings are a team that needs a lot of help this offseason to even have a chance at competing in 2014, but all hope is not lost. With $20 million in cap space and a history of drafting well, the Vikings very well could turn things around in their first season under Mike Zimmer.
One player that could come in and make an immediate impact is free agent defensive tackle Michael Johnson. Not only would Johnson be a huge addition, but the fact that his old defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is now the head coach of the Vikings means Minnesota may have an inside track on signing Johnson.
ESPN.com blogger Ben Goessling believes that the Vikings will indeed grab a big free agent this offseason, and it might end up being Johnson.
The Bengals defensive end could make sense for the Vikings, since he blossomed under Mike Zimmer in Cincinnati. But like Verner or Shields, the Vikings would probably have to pay a premium to acquire Johnson’s services. The fact that they’d already know what they’re getting with Johnson makes it a plausible idea, in my mind, but even with more than $20 million in cap space, the Vikings can only make so many additions.
Signing Johnson isn’t a lock, and Minnesota is hardly a free agent destination this offseason. The Vikings need someone to replace Jared Allen though and they may covet Johnson more than any other free agent outside of possibly Alterraun Verner.
Zimmer’s presence may swing things in the Vikings favor though, as he’s a name fans will be watching as March approaches.