Vikings: change on the left side, Johnson let go
Over the last three years, the Vikings have enjoyed some consistency as to who four of their five starting offensive linemen have been. That won’t stay the same going into 2015 as they’ve released left guard Charles Johnson.
Johnson joined the team in 2011 after starting his career with the Colts. In 2012, he moved from left tackle to left guard after the addition of Matt Kalil. Throughout his career he has been a below average starter, but still good enough to keep hold of that starting spot.
While his run blocking has slowly improved since he initially moved to guard, he allowed more pressure than a left guard should in 2014. He won’t command much money in free agency, but he is better than plenty of the other guards who have been starting in the league — not only should he get another chance to make a team but could land another starting gig.
His contract was set up so cutting him freed up $2.5 million in cap space with no dead money. The top in-house replacement is David Yankey who was a fifth-round pick last year but didn’t play an offensive snap. Austin Wentworth was an undrafted rookie last year and had seven snaps over the course of three games late in the year. He could also get an opportunity at the starting left guard spot. There are a few good guards available in free agency the Vikings could target as well.