After releasing OGs Steve Hutchinson and Anthony Herrera early in free agency, the Vikings have begun to piece back together their offensive line, signing free-agent OG-OT Geoff Schwartz on Wednesday. Terms of the deal were not announced.
Schwartz missed all of the 2011 season because of a right hip injury, but prior to that he was an effective player. He started all 16 games for the Panthers in '10 (five at right tackle and 11 at right guard) and played in all 16 — starting three — for Carolina in '09.
The Panthers did not make a qualifying offer or minimum tender to the three-year veteran before the start of free agency, thus making him an unrestricted free agent.
The 6-foot-6, 331-pound lineman had also visited the Lions, Redskins and 49ers but likely chose the Vikings because they gave him the best opportunity to start. Schwartz is expected to compete with Joe Berger for the team's right guard spot.