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 mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings set to release John Carlson

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion under Vikings, Ex-Vikings, Vikings off the field Updated: March 4, 2014 - 6:00 PM

The Vikings are expected to release tight end John Carlson, two NFL sources have confirmed.

The team tried to restructure Carlson’s contract for a second straight offseason but the two sides couldn’t reach a deal. Carlson is expected to be released on Wednesday.

Carlson, 29, finished the season on injured reserve because of a concussion he suffered in Week 14 against the Ravens. Carlson told the Star Tribune in February that he planned to continue his football career next season. The concussion was his third in six NFL seasons.

The Litchfield, Minn. native signed a five-year deal worth $25 million in 2012. In two seasons with the Vikings, Carlson played 27 games and had 40 catches for 387 yards and a touchdown.

Most of his production occurred after tight end Kyle Rudolph broke a foot in Week 9 last season. Carlson had 283 yards and a touchdown in a five-week span as the starter before suffering the season-ending concussion.

The move is expected to save the Vikings around $2 million in salary cap space.

NFL free agency begins next Tuesday, although teams are allowed to negotiate with agents beginning Saturday.

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