Free Agency

Report: Minnesota Vikings Expected to be Interested in Signing DE Michael Johnson (UPDATE: They are)

(UPDATE): It seems like the Vikings are genuinely interested in Michael Johnson:

Original story below


Wednesday afternoon, Chris Tomasson reported that a source close to defensive end Michael Johnson said he expects the Vikings to be “in the running” for Johnson’s 2015-2016 destination. Tampa Bay waived Johnson earlier Wednesday, and he is not expected to make an immediate decision. However, Minnesota could hold the upper hand as head coach Mike Zimmer has already worked with Johnson. “Zimmer’s his guy,’’ said the source. “He almost went (to Minnesota) last year.’’ Two days ago, ESPN’s Ben Goessling reminded us of just that:


Johnson played with the Bengals from 2009-13, when Zimmer was Cincinnati’s defensive coordinator. Although considering Minnesota last year, he instead signed a five-year, $43.75 million contract with the Buccaneers. It was at that point the Vikings re-signed Everson Griffen.

Adding Johnson to the lineup would be significant for the Vikings, who did not see as much from veteran Brian Robison last year as they would have liked. In addition, according to Tomasson, the team is not expected to bring back free agent Corey Wootton.

The Vikings have the cap space to sign Johnson, but the bigger question may what role he would play, and if Minnesota would end up replacing Robison with the younger DE. Johnson is not a backup; he has started 43 games in the last three seasons, and it can be assumed he is shopping for another opportunity at the top of the depth chart.

The Bengals are also expected to show interest in bringing Johnson back. Cincinnati recently re-signed another Vikings interest, Clint Boling, and it will be interesting to see if Minnesota can coax Johnson to don the purple and gold.

Below is a Nov. 2014 video featuring Johnson:



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Lindsey Young

Lindsey Young (Featured Columnist) is a graduate of University of Northwestern – St. Paul and is an avid Minnesota sports fan[atic]. It’s been argued females don’t know much about sports, but she begs to differ. Her work has been featured on Bleacher Report,, and Fox Sports North. In addition to her work with VT, Lindsey is a contributing writer for Canis Hoopus, runs a bi-monthly fan feature for and is a freelance writer for You can read her blog at Making the Call and follow her on Twitter.

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  1. spielman said ‘unless something unique’ popped up, he’d sit quiet for FA. this could be it

    not going nuts in FA is a good thing, but so is taking advantage of an opportunity

    depends on the price and if he’s still any good. he was injured and had a bad year in TB

  2. Depends 100% on the price. Decent defensive ends are a dime a dozen right now, Robison isn’t so bad he needs to be replaced, and Mikey didn’t show much down in Tampa where he was supposed to thrive in Lovie’s Tampa 2.
    2 year 8.25 million with 3 guaranteed and I’ll take him.

  3. I think he would be huge for our run defense. That is where Robison struggled the most in year one of Zimmer’s scheme. If it gets done I hope the team and Robison can work out a new deal to keep him here. If they can figure out a way to get both of these guys our dline would be set for next year.

    1. Call me crazy but I wouldn’t mind trying Robison aa an LB. He played some linebacker at Texas and if he drops 10lbs he’d be the right size. Hed struggle in pass coverage as a LB but would be awesome blitzing and versus the run. Yes I know he lacks LB speed but Brinkley really did too.
      Just an idea…

  4. Seems like he would be a good pickup. Griffen, Johnson and Robison would make a great 3 man rotation. If Crichton develops, even better to have a younger 4th who can rotate in too.

  5. Why not? What else we have going on? Ah yeah, we have that special teams dude coming in…maybe. Anyone want to trade us a #2 for our all pro RB? Yeah, he doesn’t really want to be here…but we don’t have to trade him.