NFL Rumors: Is John Carlson expendable to Vikings?
The Minnesota Vikings spent a large chunk of change this offseason in order to acquire tight end John Carlson.
Although the tight end position wasn’t a glaring need, the Vikings were hoping that Carlson could team with 2011 second-rounder Kyle Rudolph to form a dynamic dual-threat in the passing game. They were so confident that Carlson would become a top target for young quarterback Christian Ponder that they handed him a five-year, $25-million deal as incentive to come to Minnesota.
Unfortunately, the Vikings’ investment has yielded almost zero return as Carlson has struggled with injuries all season long. It has gotten to the point that the concussion-prone Carlson could be expendable moving forward.
In between a shoulder injury and his fourth career concussion, Carlson has managed only three receptions for eight yards. After suffering his latest concussion against the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday, he’s expected to be sidelined when the Vikings take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night.
Considering his consistent presence on the injury report and lack of production, Carlson has found himself in a position where his stay in Minnesota could be over before it really gets going.
Of the $25 million on his contract, Carlson is only guaranteed $9.1 million. That includes a $5 million signing bonus and his $2.9 million 2012 base salary. The other $1.2 million – his 2013 base salary – in that equation is guaranteed for injury only if he’s on the roster at the start of the 2013 league year. That means that the Vikings could sever ties with Carlson by next year and save themselves $1.2 million if they no longer see him as a part of their future plan.
The other factor playing into Carlson’s future with the Vikings is the emergence of rookie fourth-rounder Rhett Ellison. Drafted to replace Jim Kleinsasser as Minnesota’s utility back, Ellison has proven to be a valuable asset early on and is quickly carving out a role in the Vikings’ offensive attack. If he continues to develop at this pace, Carlson could soon become expendable.
For how much money they’re paying him, Carlson has been a huge bust for the Vikings and the lone blemish on Rick Spielman’s short resume as Minnesota’s General Manager. If his ineffectiveness persists, Carlson could be headed for free agency sooner rather than later.
Update: The latest on Andrew Quarless’ future in Green Bay
Update on Andrew Quarless' future with the Packers Read More
NFL expert calls this Vikings player a top 10 at his position (You’ll be surprised)
This Minnesota Viking is considered a gem by an NFL expert. Read More
Three memes that take low blows at Geno Smith
We've seen quarterbacks crack under the pressure for years, and if Geno Smith is ever going to do the same, it's probably going to be this year. After only two years with the Jets, Smith is about as worn down as a 30-year-old punching bag. But the criticism is only going to stop if he puts points on the board, a skill he has yet to master. And these internet jokesters have noticed ... Here are three of the meanest memes of Geno Smith you'll find on the Internet: Read More
Three people and an animal that Andy Dalton likes better than you
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is the definition of a "class act" and he proves it both on and off the field. After glancing at his Instagram account, it was easy to pick out some members of his family that he likes better than you. His life truly looks like that of a happy, family-oriented man. Read More