Guard Charlie Johnson also agreed to alter his deal to provide the Vikings with more cap room to use for signing wide receiver Greg Jennings, quarterback Matt Cassel and others. Tom Pelissero of ESPN1500.com reports that Johnson pared his base salary by $500,000 and lowered his cap number by the same amount.
Johnson had a $500,000 roster bonus due on Saturday, which the Vikings boosted by $250,000 as part of the restructure. It’s not a ton of money and his current cap number of $3.85 million and salary of $2.45 million might still be high given his production, but every little bit counts when you’re trying to strengthen the rest of the team.
This restructure might make it likelier that Johnson remains on the roster, it probably doesn’t do much to ensure he remains in the starting lineup. Johnson had a poor 2012 season and it would not be at all surprising to see the Vikings bring someone in to compete with him as the offseason progresses. Drafting Matt Kalil enabled them to move Johnson off of left tackle and upgrading at guard would be an obvious next step on the offensive line after securing right tackle Phil Loadholt’s return with a new contract.