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Updated: March 14th, 2012 11:43am
John Carlson agrees to 5-year, $25 million contract with Vikings

John Carlson agrees to 5-year, $25 million contract with Vikings

by Tom Pelissero
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The Minnesota Vikings' first free-agent strike is a hometown guy.

Hours after ariving for a free-agent visit with the Vikings, tight end John Carlson -- a St. Cloud native and Litchfield High School graduate -- agreed to terms on a contract with the team he grew up watching.

The Vikings announced the deal a little after 3 p.m. Multiple reports said it's five years and $25 million, including $11 million in guarantees.

Carlson, 27, was a second-round draft pick (38th overall) by the Seattle Seahawks in 2008. The 6-foot-5, 255-pound Notre Dame product has 137 receptions for 1,519 yards and 13 touchdowns in three NFL seasons but missed last season with a torn labrum in one of his shoulders.

Kyle Rudolph, a second-round draft pick out of Notre Dame last year, is expected to start for the Vikings in his second season. But the Vikings needed to address their depth at tight end, with Jimmy Kleinsasser retired and free agent Visanthe Shiancoe reiterating on Wednesday he's likely to sign elsewhere.

Bill Musgrave's offense uses multiple-tight end sets liberally. The four tight ends who played for the Vikings last year -- Shiancoe, Rudolph, Kleinsasser and Allen Reisner -- combined for 1,684 snaps, meaning there was an average of 1.62 tight ends on the field for the Vikings' 1,037 offensive plays. 

Carlson reportedly had a meeting scheduled with Kansas City on Tuesday that he apparently cut short. A report from said Indianapolis, Tampa Bay, Chicago, Dallas and Seattle also had shown interest.

Darren Wolfson contributed.

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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