In an effort to find an answer at left tackle, the Minnesota Vikings have apparently reached out to a veteran solution at the position.
According to Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports, the Vikings have shown interest in offensive tackle Russell Okung. Okung recently had his option declined by the Broncos, and will be hitting the open market in free agency.
Okung was the 6th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks, and played for Seattle from 2010 to 2015. He then moved on to the Broncos, making the unconventional move of representing himself in contract negotiations. He signed what was, essentially, a one-year, $5 million deal with no guaranteed money that was entirely performance-based. Had the Broncos picked up his option, he would have been in line for $21 million in guaranteed money for 2017 and 2018. But, the Broncos chose not to pick up the option, making him a free agent.
Okung started all 16 games for the Broncos in 2016, the first time in his career he accomplished that feat. He’s started double-digit games in six of his seven NFL seasons, but has battled some injury issues. He missed eight games in 2013, and has missed games here and there in his other seasons. He’s played in 88 games in his NFL career, all of them starts.
Looking at the grades from Pro Football Focus, Okung was the 38th-highest graded tackle in the league this past season. That doesn’t sound great. . .until you remember that the Vikings’ offensive tackles graded at #49 (Jeremiah Sirles) and #76 (T.J. Clemmings) out of 78 players that met PFF’s playing time requirements. I’m not saying the Vikings should be looking to break the bank for Okung or anything, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that he’d be a pretty significant upgrade from what the Vikings have at the position right now.
Do you think the Vikings should be interested in soon-to-be free agent Russell Okung?