Carlson cashes inJohn Carlson became one of the most promising young tight ends in the game in his first two seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. A shoulder injury derailed that, and now he is headed back home to get his career back on track.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — John Carlson became one of the most promising young tight ends in the game in his first two seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. A shoulder injury derailed that, and now he is headed back home to get his career back on track.
Carlson signed a five-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday, bringing him to the team he grew up cheering for as a kid in Litchfield, which is about 90 minutes west of the Twin Cities.
“I’m excited to be here,” Carlson said in a conference call. “I’ve got family ties here and lots of friends here. But it wasn’t the only factor. I wouldn’t have come back here if I didn’t think the Vikings had a great thing going here.”
Carlson caught 106 passes for 1,201 yards and 12 touchdowns in his first two seasons with the Seahawks.
But after a quiet season in 2010 — 31 catches, 318 yards, one TD — Carlson suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder in training camp last August that required season-ending surgery.
“We didn’t have any concern with him at all,” Spielman said.
Carlson was in Kansas City to visit the Chiefs when the Vikings called.
“Rick came forward with a commitment no other team had shown and a level of interest that was unparalleled,” Carlson said. “It was an offer I couldn’t turn down.”
The Carlson signing was the first significant move the Vikings have made during a dizzying start to free agency across the league. Spielman, who was promoted to GM after the season, has made it a priority to revamp the roster, but has targeted the draft more than free agency.
“I don’t think we’re a player or two away to go out and say you’re going to spend the money that’s being spent on all of those players who have gotten contracts early,” Spielman said, referring to big-money deals being given to the likes of Vincent Jackson, Pierre Garcon and Carl Nicks.
They also signed third-string quarterback Sage Rosenfels on Tuesday and backup nose tackle Letroy Guion to a three-year deal on Wednesday, but so far have not addressed needs at receiver, offensive line, linebacker and in the secondary. Spielman said the Vikings continue to talk with the agents for linebackers Erin and E.J. Henderson about returning and haven’t closed the door on adding another veteran or two before the draft.
“We’re going to be very patient with it and see where the market is with some of these guys,” Spielman said. “Now the big frenzy is over. There are still some players out there that we think can come in and compete and help us win ball games.”
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