Minnesota Vikings 2018 free agency: Going all-in for Kirk Cousins

The Vikings don’t know who their quarterback will be at the moment, but they know one of the guys they want protecting him.

A league source tells PFT the Vikings put the second-round restricted free agent tender on offensive lineman Nick Easton.

Previous Story Report: Cardinals to release Adrian Peterson Next Story Report: TE Jimmy Graham will sign with Packers or Saints Vikings RFA guard Easton given second-round tender By Matthew Coller | @MatthewColler March 12, 2018 2:28 pm The Minnesota Vikings’ choice to start Nick Easton and cut Alex Boone at the end of training camp came as a surprise to some, but over the 2017 season, the former Harvard offensive lineman proved that his team made the right decision.

That will pay him $2.914 million for the year, and effectively take him off what has become a lucrative guard market.

Since he was undrafted and might have drawn interest from others, the Vikings couldn’t afford to put the low tender on him and risk losing him without compensation.

He moved into the starting left guard spot last year and started 12 games before suffering a broken ankle.

Tendering Easton with a second-round compensation could be more costly but shows the Vikings’ intent to keep other teams away to offering him a deal.

The team has announced that they have placed a second-round tender on restricted free agent guard Nick Easton, a move that will pretty much take him off of the free agent market. The second-round tender is worth $2.914 million to Easton whenever he signs it.

Vikings O-line depth is strong, but they will miss Nick Eastons toughness, mobility

Easton was acquired by the Vikings in 2015, as the Vikings traded linebacker Gerald Hodges to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for Easton and a sixth-round draft choice. He made the move from center to guard in 2017, and wound up winning the starting spot at left guard. He started 12 games for the Vikings at the position in 2017 before his season was ended by a fractured left ankle he suffered in Week 16 in Green Bay.

With the tender being applied, it would certainly appear as though the team wants Easton back in the mix on the offensive line in 2018. A team thats looking for guard help could sign Easton to an offer sheet if they feel that hes worth a second-round pick, but it would be a bit of a surprise if that were to happen. While the Vikings are still expected to spend more capital on the offensive line this offseason, whether in free agency, the draft, or both, Easton should still have a decent chance of reclaiming his starting spot in 2018.

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