Vikings miss out on Johnson

Free agent defensive end Michael Johnson chose to sign with the Cincinnati Bengals instead of the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Johnson was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday.

Free agent defensive end Michael Johnson chose to sign with the Cincinnati Bengals over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. The contract he signed with the Bengals is worth $24 million over four years, according to the Pioneer Press.

When the Vikings are reported as being interested in a free agent, sometimes that just means they called the player’s agent to inquire about them. Then nothing else comes of it. That was not the case for Johnson.

The Vikings were truly interested in Johnson. They brought him to Winter Park for a visit on Friday and gave him a contract offer while he was there. The Pioneer Press even reported that head coach Mike Zimmer, who was Johnson's defensive coordinator in Cincinnati, called the defensive end when he was in the airport telling him not to go to Cincinnati.

After his visit to Minnesota, Johnson did say that he originally thought he was going to sign with the Bengals, but the Vikings visit had made things more difficult. His career flourished in Cincinnati when Zimmer was the defensive coordinator. In the end, though, he decided to go back to the team where he played the first five seasons of his career (2009-13).

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