2011 NFL Free Agency: Minnesota Vikings Sign Offensive Tackle Charlie Johnson

C. CuseOCorrespondent IIAugust 1, 2011

HOUSTON - NOVEMBER 29:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts looks down-field for a receiver as offensive tackle Charlie Johnson #74 blocks defensive end Mario Williams #90 of the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on November 29, 2009 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

According to the Star Tribune, the Minnesota Vikings signed former Indianapolis Colts offensive tackle Charlie Johnson.

Johnson will add immediate strength to a notoriously weak Vikings offensive line that helped end Brett Favre's career in 2010. At 6'4", 305 lbs Johnson's behemoth frame will be greatly welcomed by Vikings quarterback Donovan McNabb and new offensive line coach Jeff Davidson.

Johnson has had a ton of success in the NFL and could very well be the Vikings' most effective signing of this shortened offseason.

Johnson has started 54 games and one Super Bowl the last six seasons as a vital protector for quarterback Peyton Manning. He was the starting left tackle and Manning's blind side protection for all of 2008 and 2009—Manning's MVP seasons.

Charlie Johnson brings veteran leadership, skill and a winning attitude to the Vikings organization, but it is unclear exactly on where Johnson fits in.

Bryant McKinnie and Phil Loadholt seem to have a lock on the tackle positions but McKinnie's lack of production and large paycheck could put him on the shortlist out.

There is also the possibility of Johnson filling in at the right guard position, which is currently in flux due to an injured Anthony Herrera.

The general assumption is that Johnson was brought in to make an immediate impact and fill a starting role that has been needed for sometime in Minnesota. If you can protect Manning, you'll fit right in for the purple and gold. 

Stay tuned, Viking fans, as a member of the offensive line could be on their way out with the Vikings currently having 18 offensive lineman on the 90-man roster, including Johnson.

Either way, the addition of Charlie Johnson is a great move by the Vikings brass and could be the best pick-up of the offseason.

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