The Vikings needed to wait and see how much money was left after they addressed the quarterback position. Now that it’s reportedly settled with the signing of Kirk Cousins, the team has turned its attention to retaining in-house free agents.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 14, 2018
DT Shamar Stephen
Shamar Stephen had a solid 2017 season. As part of the defensive line rotation he played 38.5% of the snaps, per Football Outsiders. In 15 games, the 27 year-old collected nine tackles and his first career sack. Stephen, who’s known as a better run-stuffer than pass rusher, earned a PFF grade of 73.1. With only one (healthy) experienced starter at the position (Linval Joseph), the Vikings appears intent on re-signing Stephen, who made $1.8 million last season.
OL Joe Berger
Despite mulling retirement, Joe Berger decided to play this season. Berger, a former center, slid over to right guard shortly after rookie Pat Elflein was selected in last year’s draft. The 35 year-old proceeded to start all 16-games, missing only two offensive snaps the entire season. He earned a 75.7 grade from Pro Football Focus, ranking him 23rd among all NFL guards. Berger, who made $2.1 million in 2017, has reportedly received interest from other teams. Of his 84 career starts, 64 have been with the Vikings.
DT Tom Johnson
Pelissero noted that fee agent defensive tackle Tom Johnson has also received interest from other teams. Johnson, who was a starter at 3 technique last season, had a good 2017 season. In 15 starts he registered 17 tackles, three tackles for a loss and two sacks. He earned a solid 78.9 PFF grade. However, he’ll be 34 next season and he made $2.35 million last year. At that price — and at his age — the Vikings might not be willing to commit a considerable amount of money to Johnson.