Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson is under fire for an alleged slight he took toward the Vikings fan base.
Johnson shared a tweet from Los Angeles Chargers defensive back Desmond King, a former teammate from Iowa, saying “And to the Chargers fan I appreciate you too but the negativity and saying that I’m trash is uncalled for! God don’t like believe you will get yours.”
Johnson responded, “You should hear some of these Vikings fans lol. You a baller bruh. Eff em.”
While it seemed innocent enough and indirect, some Twitter users did take offense to Johnson’s comment.
leave mn, dissing fans isnt cool bro
— gg (@dimezsx) January 11, 2021
He deleted the tweet and addressed that it was a misunderstanding, however, it has been seen as a parting jab at the fan base.
Y’all misunderstood me lol. It’s all love to everyone. I promise.
— Jaleel Johnson (@leellxvii) January 11, 2021
Giving you a hard time. Things get misconstrued all the time. I knew what you were trying to say
— Bayze (@MBay831) January 12, 2021
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Johnson Leaves Minnesota on Poor Terms
Johnson’s Twitter fiasco is likely the last Minnesota will hear of the former 2017 fourth-round pick. His contract with the Vikings has expired as he is set to hit free agency after his first year as a full-time starter.
It wasn’t a good showing for Johnson. He tallied 1.5 sacks — two sacks less than he did in 2019 despite playing nearly almost 150 more snaps in 2020. Johnson was ranked the 205th-graded defensive interior player out of 214 by Pro Football Focus with a 35.3 grade. It was a decline from his 50.6 grade in 2019.
Regardless, some fans are still mixed on whether to keep Johnson. It remains to be seen if the Vikings will re-sign him.
Bro please no he is pushed back 6 yards every play
— jaydensiracha (@jayden47636832) January 12, 2021
Vikings Defensive Interior Will Look Different in 2021
The three-technique spot remains a highly considered position Minnesota will use the draft to address the Vikings’ fifth-worst run defense in 2020. Michael Pierce, who was acquired in free agency but opted out of the 2020 season, will return for the first year of his contract, starting at nose tackle spot in Shamar Stephen’s stead.
Stephen is still under contract for another season while second-year defensive tackle Armon Watts will likely be in the mix for backup reps behind Pierce at nose tackle. Rookie James Lynch could see more playing time at the three-technique after playing in nine games this season.
A name to consider in the draft are Alabama’s Christian Barmore, who is projected to be a mid-to-late first-round selection as an excellent pass-rushing defensive tackle. If Minnesota opts to select another position with its No. 14 overall pick, the Vikings wouldn’t have the chance to select a defensive tackle until at least the third round.
Daviyon Nixon (Iowa), Jay Tufele (USC), Marvin Wilson (Florida State) are all relatively strong prospects in both stopping the run and pressuring the quarterback. All three are projected second- to third-round prospects who, if they fall to Minnesota, could be draft-day steals.
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Trevor Squire is a Heavy contributor covering the Minnesota Vikings and journalism graduate from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities. Connect with him on Twitter @trevordsquire and join our Vikings community at Heavy on Vikings on Facebook.