Updated: March 12th, 2013 3:02pm
Backup offensive lineman Joe Berger re-signs with Vikings for one year

Backup offensive lineman Joe Berger re-signs with Vikings for one year

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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The Minnesota Vikings got a deal done with their starting right tackle shortly before free agency opened on Tuesday afternoon. They also re-signed a key backup.

Joe Berger agreed to terms on a one-year deal, an NFL source said.

It's a minimum salary benefit deal that allows the Vikings take a lower cap number. Berger got a the maximum signing bonus of $65,000 on top of an $880,000 base salary.

Berger, 30, joined the Vikings in September 2011 on a two-year, $1.9 million deal. He has appeared in 29 games over the past two seasons, starting seven in 2011.

The Michigan Tech product's versatility, experience and ability to play center are key for a Vikings team that prefers to dress seven offensive linemen on game day.

With fellow free agent Geoff Schwartz not expected to return, Berger is easily the most experienced backup offensive lineman on the Vikings' roster.

Also under contract are starting left tackle Matt Kalil, left guard Charlie Johnson, center John Sullivan, right guard Brandon Fusco and Loadholt; backup DeMarcus Love, who missed all of last season because of injury; and practice-squad holdovers Tyler Holmes and Kevin Murphy.

Another backup, Troy Kropog, received an exclusive-rights tender on Monday and will be back as well.

Unrestricted free agency was scheduled to launch at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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