It is not often that Vikings general manager Rick Spielman will turn a one-year contract into a multi-year deal, but that’s exactly what happened with Johnson. A year ago he signed with the Vikings as a free agent to a one-year deal and had a career season. He played primarily as a rotational player but still was able to record 32 tackles, was second on the team with 6½ sacks and a forced fumble.
The statistics that he was able produce is why he was able to earn another contract with the Vikings. Johnson’s agent said that there were six or seven other teams interested in the defensive tackle; however, he really wanted to return to Minnesota.
Johnson told Viking Update on Saturday that he was going to give the Vikings an opportunity to sign him before testing the open market. This is because he really enjoyed his time with the team and the coaching staff.
“I hope things work out (with the Vikings); I enjoyed my season there,” Johnson said. “I loved the team, loved the coaching staff, so hopefully we get something done.”
By re-signing Johnson the Vikings have given themselves a rotational player at defensive tackle that can rush the passer. A player like this fits in perfectly on passing downs and in nickel situations because it allows the defensive front to get a better push. Not only that, but Zimmer likes to rotate defensive linemen in and out, so the more capable players he has to work with the better.
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