The Indianapolis Colts might have waited too long to make their moves in the NFL free agency period, because offensive tackle Charlie Johnson has reportedly just signed with the Minnesota Vikings. During the Peyton Manning negotiations, which took quite a long time as well as the attention of the team, Manning mentioned wanting to make less money so the team could retain both Johnson and Joseph Addai. The latter was saved, but the former found a new home protecting Donovan McNabb.
That’s a frustrating aspect for a team needing to rebuild their offensive line from side to side. The Colts’ protective schemes have been abysmal the last year or more, which even led Bill Polian, the team’s general manager, to point to the offensive line play after their last playoff loss. The team then drafted Anthony Costanzo and Ben Ijalana this offseason to help rebuild the line, but Johnson would have been a valuable contributor in some way, probably at right tackle.
Instead, Johnson heads to a Vikings team looking for a brand new offensive identity after bringing in McNabb to be the starting quarterback and losing receiver Sidney Rice to the Seattle Seahawks. Protecting McNabb is going to be paramount, and the running game with Adrian Peterson will help that aspect as well. Getting Johnson a nice signing that bolsters the offensive unit.