Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Schwartz leaves Vikings for visit with 49ers

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, NFC Updated: March 19, 2012 - 4:45 PM

Panthers free agent offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz indicated that he wanted to make all of his free agent visits. Apparently, the Vikings didn't convince him to do otherwise.

Schwartz visited the Vikings today and, barring an unexpected change of heart, he will continue as planned with a visit to the 49ers.

That doesn't necessarily mean the Vikings are out of the running. They have an important connection in that their offensive line coach, Jeff Davidson, worked with Schwartz in Carolina. If that was enough to get Schwartz to visit the Vikings, it should be enough to get him to keep the team in mind after his visits are done.

Schwartz, a seventh-round pick of the Panthers in 2008, has the right lack of age (25) that the Vikings are looking for. He's 6-6, 331 pounds and can play guard or tackle. He'd compete for a starting job, but could end up as a valuable backup at guard and tackle since he has started 19 of the 32 NFL games he's played in. (And, no, he hasn't changed his name from George to Geoff since I last wrote about him).

To follow Geoff on Twitter, he's at @GeoffSchwartz74. 

Update: Here's what Schwartz tweeted after his visit today:

"Awesome visit with the #Vikings!...Now another 2 flights and I'll be in SF tonight."


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