Nobody was surprised when the Minnesota Vikings decided to cut ties with No. 2 tight end John Carlson yesterday, as the former promising Seattle Seahawks starter was still on his $25 million, five-year contract that he signed after showing that potential with the ‘Hawks and hitting the free agent market. The Vikings decided to cut their losses with Carlson, who is 29 and has suffered from multiple concussions in his career. In fact, he missed three games last season and was reportedly pondering retirement at one point due to the concussion he suffered last season.
However, Carlson isn’t retiring, and it wasn’t long before the Arizona Cardinals decided to bring him in for a workout yesterday. It looks like the workout went well, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Cardinals have signed Carlson to a two-year deal. TE is a need for the Cards due to Robert Housler’s inability to break out, as he’s been tabbed as a potential breakout candidate for the past two seasons. He did come on strong as the season wore on and should be a quality piece, but the Cardinals are wise to add another decent piece.
Kyle Rudolph was always going to hoard the targets at TE in Minnesota, so Carlson didn’t have much of a fit there, mostly due to his bloated contract. Assuming his two-year deal with the Cardinals is cheap and set with safeguards against injury, this is a decent signing. Carlson isn’t a bad player, he is a great red zone target, he can block some, and he’s a nice guy to have in your locker room. The Cardinals weren’t the only team interested in him, so we’ll see exactly how the financial details shake up. All in all, this looks like a decent deal for Cards GM Steve Keim.