While we've been talking about the Minnesota Vikings creating competition along the offensive line this offseason, it appears that one of their starters from 2015 is going to be making a very interesting. . .and, potentially, very significant. . .move to the other side of the line.
During an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio during this weekend's 2016 NFL Draft, Vikings' head coach Mike Zimmer made the announcement that T.J. Clemmings was going to be moving from right tackle to left tackle.
Clemmings, the Vikings' fourth-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, was expected to sit on the bench last season as a backup and learn the NFL game. Unfortunately, those plans quickly needed to be changed after Phil Loadholt tore his Achilles in the Vikings' second pre-season game and was lost for the season. The Vikings then plugged Clemmings in at the right tackle spot, where he started all sixteen games for the Vikings this past season.
The move could be significant as it pertains to the future of one Matt Kalil. Kalil was brought back to the Vikings this season on his fifth-year option, which pays him a shade over $11 million. He's had his struggles over the past few seasons, and is in a true make-or-break year in his Minnesota career. If he continues to struggle and the Vikings like what they see from Clemmings at left tackle, it would be easier for them to part ways with Kalil following the 2016 season.
This also means that the competition for the starting right tackle spot appears to be down to Loadholt and newly-signed free agent Andre Smith now that Clemmings is moving to the left side.
Not all of the news that the Minnesota Vikings are making this weekend is draft-related, folks.