Vikings release left guard Charlie Johnson


Starting left guard Charlie Johnson was released by the Minnesota Vikings on Friday.

Pro Football Talk says Johnson was due a non-guaranteed $2.5 million in 2015. The 30-year-old veteran started 61 of 64 games during his four-year run in Minnesota.

The Star Tribune says the move isn't a surprise as the Vikings are expected to try to improve the offensive line through free agency or the draft. The Vikings allowed 51 sacks last season.

Matt Kalil, Johnson Sullivan, Brandon Fusco and Phil Loadholt are expected to return as starters on the line next season.

Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press speculates that top-rated offensive guard Brandon Scherf (Iowa Hawkeyes) could be an option for the Vikings in the first round of the draft.

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If the Vikings find a left tackle in the draft, who's capable of starting on day one, they could move Charlie Johnson to guard. Johnson started 16 games at left tackle last season, but head coach Leslie Frazier says he wouldn't be uncomfortable moving Johnson to the interior part of the line.