The Minnesota Vikings lost another candidate capable of bolstering their offensive line Friday. In the morning hours it was reported that the team’s starting right guard Joe Berger was retiring. Later in the day a report surfaced that another lineman would not be returning.
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) March 23, 2018
In his two seasons in Minnesota, Sirles started 14 games. He started ten games at right tackle after the season-ending loss of starter Andre Smith in 2016. Then in 2017 he started four games at left guard after starter Nick Easton broke his ankle.
Sirles received a fair amount of interest on the open market. Considering his versatility (he can play tackle or guard), relative youth (26), and prototypical size (6-foot-6, 315 pounds), it’s a bit surprising to see him settle for a one-year deal.
The Vikings had interest in bringing Sirles back but they chose not to pick up the $1.9 million tender for the restricted free agent. The team still could have retained him once he became an unrestricted free agent.
Nevertheless, Sirles will have the opportunity to replace left guard Andrew Norwell. The All-Pro lineman left Carolina and signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency this offseason. Sirles will reunite with Norv Turner, Matt Kalil, and Jarius Wright as a member of the Panthers.