NFL Free Agency: John Carlson Returns Home, Signs With Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings signed tight end John Carlson, a St. Cloud, Minn., native. The former Litchfield High School star will likely take the role Visanthe Shiancoe had in the past.

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Vikings Free Agency 2012: John Carlson's Deal Could Be Two-Years, $12 million

Earlier this week, the Minnesota Vikings signed free agent tight end John Carlson to a reported five-year, $25 million contract. However, the real numbers for Carlson’s deal could end up looking more like a two-year, $11 million deal, according to 1500 ESPN.

Citing a source who saw the contract, Tom Pelissero said that the only $9.1 million of Carlson’s contract was “truly guaranteed.” The guaranteed money includes a $5 million signing bonus, a $2.9 million base salary this year and $1.2 million of his $2.9 million base salary in 2013.

After 2013, Carlson’s base salary jumps, a well-timed feature of the contract to matches up with the date the NFL gets a big increase in its television revenues, which is expected to bump up the salary cap for each team.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, go to Daily Norseman. You can also get all of your professional football news over at SB Nation’s NFL hub.

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Vikings Free Agency 2012: What The John Carlson Signing Means

The Minnesota Vikings finally took a dip into the free agent pool on Wednesday afternoon, signing former Seattle Seahawks' tight end John Carlson to a five-year, $25 million contract, $11 million of which is guaranteed money. Carlson, who was born in St. Cloud and grew up in Litchfield, was the Seahawks' second-round selection (38th overall) in the 2008 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame.

He missed the 2011 season with a torn labrum that he suffered in the pre-season, but in his first three seasons in Seattle he caught 137 passes for 1,519 yards and 13 touchdowns, including back-to-back 50+ catch seasons in his first two seasons in the Pacific Northwest.

While everyone understands that the Vikings need to add more weapons on offense, many. . .including yours truly. . .probably thought that the team would attempt to go after a wide receiver. That's a path they still might take, but Carlson isn't as crazy a signing as it would appear at first blush. In fact, it makes a lot of sense, given the offense that Minnesota offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave appears to want to run.

The Minnesota Vikings run a lot of two-tight end formations, and because of the lack of a deep threat on the outside, the Vikings are apparently going to attempt to copy the New England Patriots' model of building a passing attack around two big, mobile tight ends. Now, Carlson and Kyle Rudolph, last year's second-round pick by Minnesota, aren't in the class of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez at this point ... but if Christian Ponder can get a little bit of protection and a full off-season of work with the offense, they can certainly make strides in that direction.

There certainly won't be a lot of defenders that will be able to match up with that duo physically: Carlson stands 6-foot-5 and weighs about 250 pounds with Rudolph being an inch taller and ten pounds heavier. They both have pretty decent speed and agility for men their size, and both of them have shown very nice hands. With Rudolph and Carlson in the middle of the field and Percy Harvin lining up all over the place and being allowed to make things happen in the open field -- kind of a Wes Welker kind of role --the Vikings are at least going to attempt to find offensive success by emulating the Patriots.

Because, hey, if you're going to steal, you could just as well steal from the best, am I right? The Vikings will, undoubtedly, still be looking for weapons to surround Ponder with on offense, but the signing of John Carlson appears to be a pretty solid start.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, go to Daily Norseman. You can also get all of your professional football news over at SB Nation's NFL hub.

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Vikings Free Agency 2012: John Carlson To Get Five-Year Deal Worth $25 Million

The Minnesota Vikings were looking for a reliable target for developing quarterback Christian Ponder, and though they weren't able to (or perhaps didn't try to) snag one of the big name receivers out there, they did reach an agreement with former Seattle Seahawks tight end John Carlson. Now there's some more details regarding the terms of said agreement, per ESPN's Adam Schefter via Twitter.

Schefter reports that the Vikings are giving Carlson a five-year contract worth $25 million, which is a sizable amount, but not far off from where most figured Carlson would be. What hurt him the most was the fact that he missed the entire 2011 season with a knee injury, which definitely hurt the Seahawks in the end. Seattle was expecting to have a great duo of reliable tight ends with Zach Miller coming in.

There's no word on the guaranteed dollars or what the incentives are looking like for Carlson, but even if it was a straight-up $5 million per-year, it wouldn't be far off from his value. It all depends on whether or not the Vikings think he's truly healthy and will come back at full strength. If he does, then he should help out Christian Ponder immensely.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, go to Daily Norseman. You can also get all of your professional football news over at SB Nation's NFL hub.

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Vikings Free Agency 2012: John Carlson Set To Sign With Minnesota, According To Report

The Minnesota Vikings didn't have a great 2011, but are hoping development of quarterback Christian Ponder will vastly improve the team's chances in 2012. As such, they've spent the majority of the 2012 free agency period on the sidelines, re-signing some guys and generally not being in on some of the bigger names. That isn't to say they aren't looking to improve.

Bill Williamson of ESPN is reporting that tight end John Carlson has decided to sign with the Minnesota Vikings. Carlson has played his career with the Seattle Seahawks and is only on his way out because they've got Zach Miller as the starter. Carlson wants more playing time, and is looking for a fresh start after a knee injury cut short his 2011 season. Carlson was reportedly close to getting something done with the Kansas City Chiefs before this news came out.

Carlson provides a reliable target who does just about everything well. Ponder lacks a real consistent target with good hands, and getting a tight end like Carlson is likely a good move for the Vikings to help along the young quarterback's development.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, go to Daily Norseman. You can also get all of your professional football news over at SB Nation's NFL hub.

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