DT Guion re-signs with Vikings

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 14, 2012 - 12:27 AM

The backup lineman got a three-year deal and is the heir apparent to Kevin Williams.

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Defensive tackle Letroy Guion signed a three-year contract extension with the Vikings.

Photo: Carlos Osorio, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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In terms of splash moves, it was but a mere pebble dropping into an ocean of possibilities on Day 1 of NFL free agency.

But Tuesday's re-signing of backup defensive tackle Letroy Guion fell in step with Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman's long-term game plan for rebuilding a 3-13 team with a foundation of youth, selective home-grown free agents and a heavy reliance on next month's draft.

Despite entering his fifth NFL season, Guion is just 24 years old. A new three-year deal, reached before the start of free agency on Tuesday, keeps Guion as a valuable interior backup and the heir apparent to Kevin Williams, a three-technique tackle who turns 32 in August.

Guion has played in 40 games with three starts since the Vikings drafted him in the fifth round in 2008. He came into the league as primarily an interior pass rusher and has progressed as a run stopper.

Consistency, however, remains the biggest concern with Guion. He showed flashes of exceptional play when he had two sacks in limited action in 2010. But his 2011 season was up and down. Starting three games, including the first two as Williams served a league-imposed suspension, Guion had 35 tackles, four tackles for loss and no sacks.

The Vikings could now be in the market for a free-agent nose tackle. Starter Remi Ayodele, who is due a $750,000 bonus on Thursday, hasn't produced as the team thought he would. Indications are he won't be released. But there could be a need for depth because backup Fred Evans is testing free agency.

Booker, Onatolu free

The Vikings didn't offer tenders to restricted free agents Lorenzo Booker and Kenny Onatolu. That made both players unrestricted free agents, but doesn't necessarily mean they won't re-sign with the Vikings. Booker is a third-down back and kickoff returner while Onatolu, a linebacker, is primarily a special teamer.

"The way we left it is we're both open to re-signing," Booker's agent, Ryan Slaton, said. "That doesn't mean we won't shop around though."

Erin Henderson update

The Vikings announced their re-signing of No. 3 quarterback Sage Rosenfels on Tuesday. That brings their list of unrestricted free agents to 15.

No. 1 on the team's short list of players it wants to re-sign is outside linebacker Erin Henderson. The two sides talked through the weekend and were closing on a deal, but Henderson ended up hitting the market on Tuesday.

The Vikings still want to re-sign him. He had a promising, albeit inconsistent, first year as a starter in 2011. He also has the versatility to play middle linebacker in the team's nickel packages. That's valuable because his older brother, E.J., is not expected to be re-signed.

Receiver Devin Aromashodu, a free agent with an outside chance of returning to the team, has stayed in contact with the Vikings but also is talking to other teams.

The only other free agent considered to have a chance of returning is safety Husain Abdullah. He'll test the market first, but neither side has ruled out a return.

Etc.

• Former Vikings linebacker Ben Leber, who left the team after the 2010 season, was expected to visit the Eagles.

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