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Nick Easton signs Restricted Free Agent tender

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He’ll make nearly $3 million this season

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Buffalo Bills Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

On a day when the Minnesota Vikings gave one of the cornerstones of their defense a long-term deal, another starter from the 2017 season came back into the fold as well.

Nick Easton, who started most of the season at left guard for the Vikings, officially signed his Restricted Free Agent tender offer, meaning that he is officially under contract to the Vikings for the 2018 season.

Easton was originally acquired via a trade with the San Francisco 49ers during the 2015 season, when the team sent linebacker Gerald Hodges to the West Coast in exchange for Easton and a sixth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. He started 12 games for the Vikings at left guard this past season, and his season ended when he fractured his ankle in the Vikings’ Week 16 victory over the Green Bay Packers.

Many viewed Easton as the member of the offensive line that the team could “most afford” to lose, but the performance of the line dropped significantly after his injury. The team moved right tackle Mike Remmers to left guard for the regular season finale and both playoff games, but the amount of pressure they allowed increased significantly, particularly in the postseason.

Easton is going to be a valuable piece for the Vikings this season, I think, whether he reclaims his spot as a starter or serves in a sort of Joe Berger-esque role where he can back up all three interior line positions.

Signing his tender gives Easton a salary of $2.91 million for this year. Another team could have signed him to an offer sheet with the Vikings getting a second-round draft choice if they didn’t match, but Easton instead decided to sign with the Vikings.

Congratulations to Nick Easton on re-joining the Minnesota Vikings.