Johnson arrives in Minnesota

Free agent defensive end Michael Johnson arrived in Minnesota on Friday to meet with Vikings officials. The Vikings are expected to be one of the favorites to sign Johnson.

The Minnesota Vikings are hosting their first defensive free agent visitor of the 2015 season in Michael Johnson. The defensive end was released from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday after they signed him to a five-year $43.75 million contract a year ago.

Johnson arrived in Minnesota Friday morning at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport where he was met by Vikings athletic trainer Eric Sugarman. The defensive end is expected to remain in Minnesota until sometime Saturday, according to ESPN.

After Minnesota, Johnson is expected to visit the Cincinnati Bengals. Unless the Vikings can get a deal struck with him first. Johnson spent his first five seasons in the NFL with the Bengals playing under Mike Zimmer, who was the defensive coordinator. He loved his time in Cincinnati, but also has a lot of respect for Zimmer. That is why the Vikings and Bengals are thought of to be the two teams with the best chance to land Johnson.

In his career Johnson has recorded 229 tackles, 30½ sacks, five forced fumbles and 25 passes defensed. However, he had a bit of a down year in 2014 with the Bucs, recording 27 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles.

At the age of 28, Johnson is still in the prime of his career. If he were to sign with the Vikings, he would likely play behind left defensive end Brian Robison, but if he plays well he could find himself in the starting lineup quickly.

Whether he becomes a starter or not, Johnson would provide depth along the defensive line. He would also provide Zimmer with another player he trusts, which would allow him to rotate players along the defensive line more frequently, something he was not able to do with the personnel he had a year ago.

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