In need of a guard after Nick Easton‘s neck surgery, the Vikings reached out to retired lineman Joe Berger to see if he would be willing to come out of retirement, a source tells Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press (on Twitter). However, Berger informed the team that he plans to stay retired.
Berger, 36, didn’t hang up his cleats due to lack of interest. Both the Vikings and the Lions had standing offers out to Berger this spring, while at least two other unidentified clubs may have also been involved in talks. However, we heard all throughout 2017 that Berger was expected to retire after the season, and he ultimately followed through on his plan.
A former sixth-round pick, Berger started at least ten games only one time during the first decade of his career before signing with Minnesota in 2015. Berger then became a fixture on the Vikings’ front five, starting 46 games over the next three campaigns. Capable of playing both center and guard, Berger was still effective in 2017, as Pro Football Focus graded him as the NFL’s No. 23 guard among 77 qualifiers.
The Vikings would have loved to get another season out of Berger, but he’ll move on to other endeavors instead. And, with that, the Vikings will have to move on in their search for interior line help.
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