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Michael Johnson Contacted By Minnesota Vikings

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Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The fun part of the off-season is finally getting underway, everyone, and it's gotten started the way a lot of us expected it to.

The Minnesota Vikings have reportedly made contact with Michael Johnson, the defensive end that has spent his five-year career with the Cincinnati Bengals. He played for new Vikings' head coach Mike Zimmer, and as such this has been expected since Zimmer was brought in to be the ninth head coach in Vikings' history.

Johnson was the Bengals' third-round selection (#70 overall) out of Georgia Tech in the 2009 NFL Draft. In his career, he has racked up 26.5 sacks, 25 pass deflections, and three interceptions. He would immediately take over the spot that Jared Allen will be vacating on the Vikings' defensive line. Johnson might not have quite the pass-rushing skills that Allen did in his prime, though he did have 11.5 sacks for the Bengals in 2012. He played last year for the Bengals under the franchise tag, and now he has hit the open free agent market.

According to our friends at Cincy Jungle, as many as seven teams have reached out to Michael Johnson thus far, though the Vikings, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Chicago Bears being the only "known" teams at this point.

Michael Johnson is one of the most sought-after players in this year's free agency class. If the Vikings want to bring him in, they're going to have plenty of competition for his services. We'll see if the Zimmer connection gives the Vikings the inside track or not.