Minnesota Vikings Rumors: Could a Veteran Guard Be on Their Radar?

By Brad Berreman
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings have one of the league’s best offensive lines, as evidenced by the success running back Adrian Peterson had in 2012. They are well-established with players who are among the best in the NFL at both tackle spots (Matt Kalil, Phil Loadholt) and center (John Sullivan), but left guard Charlie Johnson and right guard Brandon Fusco are not on that level. Adding some competition to the mix could still be an option at this late stage, so could a recently released veteran be on the Vikings’ radar?

Travelle Wharton was released by the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday after missing all of last season with a torn right ACL. There was some speculation he would open training camp on the PUP list, so he may not be 100 percent healthy close to a year removed from the injury. 

Wharton started 99 games at left guard and left tackle for the Carolina Panthers over the previous eight seasons, including all 16 games four times. He visited the Panthers on Tuesday, and will reportedly visit the Denver Broncos and former Carolina head coach John Fox soon. Beyond that Wharton has no known suitors or scheduled visits, so it may take an injury during camp and the preseason to open up an opportunity for him.

Wharton’s ability to play both guard and tackle could appeal to the Vikings, since they don’t have great depth along the offensive line. But signing a 32-year old player does not fit with how general manager Rick Spielman is putting together Minnesota’s roster, and if Wharton’s knee is still not healthy he is a risk not worth taking.

Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.

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