VIEW FROM THE VOX: In the copycat NFL teams will be looking to stack up on defense because of what Seattle just did to Denver. Just works that way. Draft boards probably changed off what GMs saw when Seattle's youth and defensive depth waxed the overmatched Broncos.
So, does that mean DEs GREG HARDY (Carolina) and MICHAEL JOHNSON (Cincinnati) just made a few more million? We already hit on Hardy, who I would love for the Vikings to sign in FA, and now we tackle Michael Johnson. "Tackle" is the operative word because Johnson is better at run stopping than pass rushing. He had 3 1/2 sacks last year for MIKE ZIMMER'S defense, and his backup WALLACE GILBERRY managed 7 1/2. Johnson worked last year off the $11 million Franchise Tag but most likely will not be 'tagged again this year due to Cincy's DL depth.
We obviously have an in here given Zimmer was his coach last year, and after sourcing locally and nationally I have heard a bunch of good things about the young man. Johnson led DL last year with eight passes defensed, which means he tips it and others potentially pick it.
He primarily was a LDE in Cincinnati, and BRIAN ROBISON has that spot locked up here quite nicely. Not sure if the plan is to (a) move on sans JARED ALLEN and (b) to move Robison to RDE. EVERSON GRIFFEN, too, is an UFA, and for the right price I'd love for him to return to give us depth.
Johnson seems like a true LDE from what he has done so far in the NFL, and they don't house as much money as the book-enders. Still, it feels like nabbing Johnson would cost at least $12 million guaranteed.
*Photo - Jonathan Daniel(Getty Images)
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