This is not an April Fool’s joke.
The Minnesota Vikings have signed a competent lineman who can play guard.
Former Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Chris Reed agreed to terms on a two-year deal on April 1, Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press reported.
Adam Thielen, who played with Reed at Minnesota State, Mankato, tweeted “Skol Mavs!! Letsssss gooooo,” when the Vikings announced they had reached an agreement on a contract with Reed.
Reed figures to be another body in the competition for the starting right guard spot but has also played center in the preseason throughout his eight-year career.
Reed played left tackle as a Maverick and was an 11-time track All-American, winning NCAA Division II titles in outdoor shot put twice. He’s started 29 games and made 61 appearances in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars and Colts.
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Reed Well-Respected in Indy
At 6-foot-5 and 314 pounds, Reed is a converted left tackle who can play any position on the interior offensive line. Reed signed with the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in 2015 and spent four seasons in Jacksonville before splitting a season in Miami and Carolina.
With the Colts, Reed proved to be a reliable fill-in, starting six games on Indianapolis’ offensive line that helped Jonathan Taylor lead the league in rushing in 2021.
Reed ranked 39th out of 88-graded guards who played a minimum of 20% of offensive snaps by Pro Football Focus last season.
Locked On Colts Podcast called Reed “super underrated” after seeing him play for just a year in Indianapolis.
“Minnesota has a plug-and-play guard you don’t have to worry about. Was one of #Colts most consistent linemen last season,” Locked On Colts tweeted.
Colts offensive coordinator Marcus Brady lauded Reed for filling in for one of the NFL’s best guards in Quentin Nelson, who went down with an injury last season.
“He’s been great for us,” Brady told the Indy Star. “When you’re watching film, you don’t want to notice your offensive line, and we haven’t noticed him in a negative way. … He’s been solid in the run game, solid in protection. Physical. He’s been exactly what we needed.”
After impressing as Nelson’s midseason replacement, Reed earned a rotational role with right guard Mark Glowinski. Glowinski signed a three-year, $20 million deal with the New York Giants, which likely dwarfs the contract Reed agreed to in Minnesota.
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Reed Could Complete Offensive Line
Reed becomes the third veteran addition to the offensive line room this offseason. Former Miami Dolphins guard Jesse Davis figures to compete for the right guard spot as well.
But depending on how the offseason pans out, Reed could overtake Davis for the right guard spot or potentially compete for the starting center job with Garrett Bradbury.
Bradbury, a 2019 first-round pick, has struggled in recent years and hasn’t shown an upward trajectory in his career. The presence of competition in Reed creates a win-win situation in Minnesota, which hopes to either get the most out of Bradbury, who ranked 38th out of 40-graded centers by PFF last season, or find a replacement.