The Mystery Thickens on JC Tretter and the Vikings

It's "He-Said-He-Said" about JC Tretter and the Vikings
Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter. © Jeff Lange via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

For over five months, Minnesota Vikings fans daydreamed a scenario about free-agent center JC Tretter joining the team, presumably upgrading over Garrett Bradbury.

But Tretter retired this week. And on his way out, he told SI.com he wanted to play for the Vikings, but “Minnesota never returned our call.”

Tretter evidently grew up as a Vikings fan and envisioned finishing his impressive career in purple on a poetic note. Yet, there shall be no Tretter-Vikings relationship, as the 31-year-old called it quits.

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Nov 3, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) lines up behind center JC Tretter. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports.

Of course, on Friday, this was seized by some because why on earth would the Vikings not return the call from one of the best pass-blocking centers in the NFL? With his tremendous pass-protecting center skillset, Tretter reached out to a team with some of the worst pass protection in the business. Weird, right?

Well, the Vikings brass was asked about the topic, and it claimed the head coach or general manager received no such communication.

If this development were in a television program, the detective would tilt his head and say, “Someone isn’t telling the truth.” Perhaps proverbial wires crossed, or somebody contacted the Vikings old leadership. Regardless, something doesn’t add up.

It’s a he-said-he-said mystery.

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Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter. © Jeff Lange / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Pass blocking is Tretter’s modus operandi. He never encountered a PFF pass-blocking grade south of 80.0 from 2015 to 2021. For Vikings fans, that sounded like a monumental upgrade from Bradbury, who is tentatively scheduled to start again in 2022.

Tretter’s resume from Pro Football Focus was splendid:

  • 2014 = 51.6
  • 2015 = 76.2
  • 2016 = 78.2
  • 2017 = 69.1
  • 2018 = 76.9
  • 2019 = 72.0
  • 2020 = 77.1
  • 2021 = 78.7

Injuries were also a rumored concern for Tretter, who allegedly didn’t practice much during the regular season but showed up — performing marvelously — on gamedays.

So, unless the Vikings realize they could realistically still call Tretter back to broker a relationship, folks will look back on the matter as a tale of miscommunication.

Tretter was co-workers with Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah in Cleveland.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).


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