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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Vikings officially sign free agent tackle Jake Long

By Judd Zulgad

A day after working out free-agent tackle Jake Long, the Minnesota Vikings have announced they have signed the former No. 1 overall pick on Tuesday.

The Vikings, who are the only undefeated team (5-0) remaining in the NFL after Sunday’s victory over Houston, are looking to add depth to their injury-depleted offensive line. The team also is looking for options at left tackle, where T.J. Clemmings struggled to protect quarterback Sam Bradford against the Texans.

Vikings starting left tackle Matt Kalil (hip) is expected to miss the rest of the season after having surgery. Right tackle Andre Smith (triceps) is scheduled to undergo surgery on Tuesday; he has been replaced by Jeremiah Sirles. The Vikings also lost left guard Brandon Fusco (concussion) early in Sunday’s game. Center Joe Berger is the only Vikings’ offensive lineman to play every snap this season.

Long was picked first-overall by Miami in the 2008 draft and began his career playing for Tony Sparano. Sparano is now the Vikings’ offensive line coach. The 31-year-old has been named to four Pro Bowls but had surgery on his ACL in 2013 and again in 2014. He was playing for the St. Louis Rams at that time. Last season, Long played only 11 snaps for the Atlanta Falcons.

Long came close to signing with Baltimore in July but the deal didn’t get done because Long would not sign a waiver on his right knee.

The addition of Long would being depth to the Vikings offensive line. Right tackle Andre Smith was inactive Sunday with what had been listed as an elbow injury, but sources say there is concern about a related biceps injury. Smith has denied an NFL Network report that his injury is serious enough for him to be a candidate for injured reserve. The team already has lost left tackle Matt Kalil to hip surgery.

Sources say Long is willing to play for around the veteran minimum wage of $885,000, which would be prorated with 11 games remaining in the regular season. The Vikings have only an estimated $1.8 million of salary-cap space available.

The post Vikings officially sign free agent tackle Jake Long appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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