MINNEAPOLIS — Sometimes in life things just happen for a reason and tight end John Carlson is the perfect example. A second-round pick by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2008 NFL draft, Carlson has had a roller coaster career thus far. After a strong first two years in the league Carlson’s role in Seattle took a hit that diminished his impact in the scoring category.
With left tackle Russell Okung injured off-and-on during the 2010 season Carlson was used more as a blocking tight end rather than a receiving tight end. As a result Carlson’s receiving numbers went down drastically from 2008 and 2009. After recording 55 receptions in 2008 and 51 in 2009 Carlson finished 2010 with 31 to go along with 256 less yards and one lone touchdown.
In 2011 he never even got the chance to prove his worth alongside newly acquired tight end Zach Miller suffering a torn labrum during a preseason practice putting him out for the entire 2011 season. Needless to say luck wasn’t on Carlson’s side but the 27-year-old tight end wouldn’t get discouraged. He sat the season out and when it came to free agency it wasn’t entirely known what was going to happen.
With little productivity the past two seasons it would have been expected that Carlson would sign maybe a one or two-year contract to prove he’s healthy and capable. Not for the Minnesota Vikings, who Wednesday signed Carlson to a five-year contract worth $25 million with $11 million guaranteed.
It brings Carlson back to Minnesota were Carlson was a standout tight end and basketball star at Litchfield Senior High School. A U.S. Army All-American and McDonalds All-American Carlson was recruited to Notre Dame along with quarterback Brady Quinn in 2003.
Now he’ll be pared with another Notre Dame tight end, Kyle Rudolph, in Minnesota to form one of the best young tight end combinations in the league. In the end things have worked out for Carlson who now gets a fresh start back in his home state and hopefully lead the Vikings back to the playoffs sooner rather than later.
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