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Updated: April 5th, 2012 3:56pm
Former Vikings second-round pick Tyrell Johnson signs with Dolphins

Former Vikings second-round pick Tyrell Johnson signs with Dolphins

by Tom Pelissero
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Tyrell Johnson never lived up to expectations with the Minnesota Vikings. His next chance to fulfill his potential will come in Miami.

The Dolphins announced on Thursday they have signed Johnson, the Vikings' second-round draft pick (43rd overall) in 2008 out of Arkansas State.

Johnson, 26, played in 49 games (27 starts) over four seasons with the Vikings, recording 136 tackles (97 solo), two interceptions and 11 passes defended.

He started 15 games for the 2009 Vikings team that reached the NFC championship game. But Johnson lost his starting job to Husain Abdullah in 2010, then couldn't beat out Jamarca Sanford last season. A DUI arrest in September didn't help his standing with the team either.

Asked in an email if returning to the Vikings was an option, Johnson responded, "Fresh start. Clean slate ya know."

Johnson's final play as a Viking came on Nov. 27 at Atlanta, where he suffered a hamstring tendon avulsion that required surgery. He said three weeks ago his rehabilitation was going well and estimated he was "75 to 80 percent" recovered.

Eleven players who finished last season with the Vikings remain unsigned. They are: linebacker E.J. Henderson, tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, tight end Jimmy Kleinsasser (retired), safety Husain Abdullah, receiver Greg Camarillo, offensive lineman Scott Kooistra, cornerback Benny Sapp, long snapper Matt Katula, safety Jarrad Page, linebacker Xavier Adibi and halfback Lorenzo Booker, who became a street free agent when the Vikings didn't offer him a qualifying restricted tender.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 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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