LIVE › 8-9 p.m. ESPN Radio Tonight
NEXT › 9 p.m. ESPN SportsCenter
9:05 p.m. Sports Center Tonight
10 p.m. ESPN SportsCenter
11 p.m. ESPN SportsCenter
Midnight ESPN SportsCenter
Updated: March 14th, 2012 4:43pm
Vikings plan to make a nose tackle out of Letroy Guion, who got $9M

Vikings plan to make a nose tackle out of Letroy Guion, who got $9M

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
Email | Twitter
SportsWire Daily

Get the 1500 ESPN SportsWire delivered to your inbox daily, and keep up with all the news in Twin Cities Sports

Signup!

The Minnesota Vikings believe they have found a solution to their issues at nose tackle, and they didn't have to look outside the building.

The Vikings on Wednesday finalized the contract they agreed to a day earlier with Letroy Guion, who will make $9 million over three years, with $2.5 million guaranteed, according to multiple reports.

And general manager Rick Spielman said the plan is for Guion to come into next season as a nose tackle after spending most of his first four NFL seasons playing the three-technique behind Kevin Williams.

"He's an extremely talented athlete," Spielman said. "I know when we had meetings on all of our personnel, we still think there's a huge, huge upside to Letroy.

"I know we played him some at three-technique and some at nose. Talking with (new line coach) Brendan Daly when he came in and (new coordinator) Alan Williams, we feel if we can settle him in at one spot and let him learn and grow in that particular spot that he's only go to learn and grow in that particular spot that he's only going to improve and get better."

Still only 24 years old, Guion was a fifth-round draft pick (152nd overall) in 2008. He has played in 40 games over four NFL seasons, starting three last season, when he played 516 snaps (48.8%) and recorded 35 tackles (20 solo, four loss).

The reported terms of Guion's new deal are on par with the three-year, $9 million deal signed in July by Remi Ayodele, who received a $3.565 million signing bonus.

Ayodele played only 253 snaps last season (23.9%), splitting time with Guion and Fred Evans at a position that became a major weakness following veteran Pat Williams' departure.

"Pat did such a great job for us for so long," coach Leslie Frazier said last month. "We got spoiled. We think Remi's going to improve and he'll get better. But that position is key to our success up front when we are trying to defend the run."

Apparently, the Vikings believe Guion can help bridge that gap, and he'll get a nice payday to do it. Guion's rookie signing bonus was $176,700.

Ayodele, who is due a $750,000 deferred portion of his signing bonus on Thursday, is expected to get another chance to provide a return on that investment, too.

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.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero
4273