Improving along the offensive line will be essential for the Minnesota Vikings to increase offensive production in 2017. Minnesota’s protection issues are evident on tape. Whether it was pressure off the edge or a struggle to get a push in the run game, the Vikings were consistently limited week to week.
The Detroit Lions signed former Indianapolis Colts tackle Pierce Burton on Thursday. Burton finished last season on the Colts’ practice squad after signing in mid-December. An undrafted free agent out of the University of Mississippi, Burton signed with the Minnesota Vikings in 2014. He was released late that August and remained unsigned until joining the Atlanta Falcons during training camp in 2015. After a brief stint on the Falcons’ practice squad, Burton spend time on the Carolina Panthers practice squad as well in 2015. Burton provides some depth for the Lions offseason roster as Riley Reiff, Larry Warford and Cornelius Lucas (restricted) will all be free agents next month.
Earlier in February, there appeared to be a lack of options for teams in need of a veteran offensive tackle in free agency. But very quickly, the market exploded with a few former Pro Bowlers added to the mix. Last week, the New York Jets declined to pick up an option on Ryan Clady’s contract making the four-time Pro Bowl tackle a free agent. One day later, the Miami Dolphins were set to cut ties with two-time Pro Bowler Branden Albert, although the team eventually negotiated a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars that is expected to be finalized in March. Additionally, the Denver Broncos and Jaguars declined to pick up the options on Russell Okung and Kelvin Beachum, respectively, adding a a