Life figures to get a bit more difficult for the Vikings offensive line next season with defensive ends Julius Peppers and Kyle Vanden Bosch signing free-agent deals with the Bears and Lions, respectively.
But the Vikings did get a bit of good news late Saturday/early Sunday when the Jacksonville Jaguars signed Packers free agent Aaron Kampman to a multi-year contract. Kampman's departure from Green Bay was no surprise. He had been extremely effective for four seasons at left end before being moved to outside linebacker when new defensive coordinator Dom Caper's introduced a 3-4 scheme last season.
Kampman had only 3.5 sacks before tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in Week 11 and missing the rest of the season. Kampman, though, had 37 sacks from 2006-08 and he often gave the Vikings problems. Before last season, when he did not get a sack in two games against the Vikings, he had 10.5 sacks vs. Minnesota over the past four seasons. That includes three in a single game against the Vikings in both 2005 and 2006.
As for Peppers' introduction into the NFC North, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes about where Peppers is going to play for the Bears. He spent time at both left and right defensive end with Carolina and Biggs writes that Peppers likely will be the starting left end.
That doesn't mean he won't shift around, however, especially against the Vikings. Remember, Peppers gave Vikings left tackle Bryant McKinnie so much trouble last December in Carolina that McKinnie was benched. Peppers only had one sack in that game. However, in 2006 against the Vikings, he had three sacks and two years ago he added another in games played at the Metrodome.
Peppers was lined up at left end for that 2006 game and abused right tackle Marcus Johnson, getting four quarterback hurries and one pass broken up.