Charlie Johnson has made his money the past two seasons by protecting Peyton Manning's blind side. Now, the Vikings hope that he can assist in protecting Donovan McNabb at some spot on the offensive line.
Minnesota signed Johnson today to a free agent contract, the terms of which have not been disclosed. The 6'4", 305-pound Johnson has played his entire five-year NFL career with the Colts since being drafted out of Oklahoma State with the 199th overall pick (sixth round) of the 2006 NFL Draft.
Though Johnson spent the last two years for the Colts playing left tackle, he also has experience at both guard spots and at right tackle. Certainly that versatility is part of what drew the Vikings to him, as with incumbent Anthony Herrera still recovering from the torn ACL he suffered at the end of the 2010 season, the Vikings' right guard spot is still in a bit of flux.
Then again, if Bryant McKinnie continues the way he's going, Johnson might have a shot at the left tackle spot after all. On Monday, the Vikings placed McKinnie on the non-football injury list with an "undisclosed ailment". . .which many people feel is a polite way of saying "showing up completely out of shape despite having six months to work out." That's a situation that will require some monitoring as the Vikings go through training camp.