Rick Spielman and the Minnesota Vikings fan base appear to be on the same page when it comes to upgrading the offensive line this offseason. The most clear evidence comes in the form of “tampering period” reports and rumors suggesting that the Vikings are willing to offer a significant contract to guard Kelechi Osemele.
— Rand Getlin (@Rand_Getlin) March 8, 2016
This report comes after the Vikings made a series of offseason moves proving they plan to improve their blocking situation, which started with the acquisition of line coach Tony Sparano. On Monday, they also successfully convinced right tackle Phil Loadholt to return on a greatly reduced salary, while also retaining the young Carter Bykowski.
The report indicates that Osemele is expected to sign a contract “well in excess” of $10 million per year which would likely make the league’s highest paid guard by a wide enough margin… if he is signed to play guard. The Baltimore Ravens initially drafted Osemele to play left tackle, before kicking him inside where he was far more effective, and I can’t help but wonder if the Vikings are willing to pay Osemele like a left tackle because they plan to play him there.
If the Vikings can reach an agreement on terms with Osemele before Matt Kalil’s massive contract becomes guaranteed later this week then they could part ways with Kalil with a decent enough backup plan in the fold. If the Vikings decide to keep Kalil, or seek a long-tern replacement at left tackle via free agency or the NFL Draft, then of course Osemele could slide inside where he has played his best NFL football and the Vikings could use an upgrade.
In short, Osemele is an expensive upgrade, but one that could give Rick Spielman a lot of flexibility when it comes to filling out the rest of the O-Line.
For more on Osemele’s free agent fit with the Vikings be sure to CLICK HERE to learn about what he brings to the table.