Vikings Are Becoming Former Vikings
It is increasingly obvious that Rick Spielman didn’t think too highly of most of the Vikings players seeing their contracts expire this month. Sage Rosenfels and Letroy Guion are the only ones to receive contracts so far, while the front office continues to monitor the status of Erin Henderson, E.J. Henderson, and presumably safety Husain Abdullah.
That doesn’t mean that now-former Vikings players aren’t getting interest in phase two of free agency. Here are some quick updates:
Goes to the Titans on a three year deal worth $16 million.
The length of the contract surprised me more than the dollar amount or even the destination. Hutch had reportedly told Vikings teammates that he was really only interested in playing one more year of football.
The Titans get a heck of a player, and a heck of a good guy, and a heck of a veteran presence here. They had made clear, following Chris Johnson’s struggles in 2011, that the offensive line was a major priority for them. Hutchinson may not be a long term solution, but he should be an upgrade over what they had.
Goes to the Redskins on a one year deal worth $2.5 million.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Griffin’s two torn ACL’s have hindered his career and now his age is catching up with him. Leslie Frazier seemed to think Griffin may finally be over those injuries, and may start to produce consistently again in 2012, but that optimism didn’t save his job in Minnesota. Sounds like that didn’t hurt Griffin’s feelings too badly, however, as he was reportedly anxious to part ways.
After a miserable 2011 season, Griffin picked up his game in the last two weeks, one of which was coincidentally (or not) against the Redskins.
Goes to the Panthers on a three year deal.
The Vikings made a sketchy linebacker situation even sketchier by not tendering restricted free agent Kenny Onatolu, a move that I found fairly surprising.
Onatolu reunites with Brian Murphy, former Vikings special teams coordinator, in Carolina and will likely continue being primarily used in the special teams capacity. The Vikings signed Onatolu out of the CFL a few years back, and his replacement may be coming from the same side of the border. The team signed CFL standout Solomon Elimimian to a two year deal back in January.