Josh Kline

North Notes: Griffen, Robinson, Bengals

Everson Griffen is one of the top two pass rushers still on the market, and we heard last month that he would probably not re-sign with the Vikings. However, Minnesota did not do much to add to its pass rushing corps in the draft, with South Carolina DE D.J. Wonnum representing the most notable addition. And while GM Rick Spielman acknowledged that his team’s cap space makes it difficult to bring Griffen back, he did not rule it out.

“It is hard to say right now where everything is at and where we are at, [but] until things become more normalized I will never say never on a player,” Spielman recently said on the #PFTPM podcast (via PFT’s Mike Florio). “[Y]our roster is never set.”

Griffen has expressed an interest in joining the Seahawks, but Seattle is still open to bringing back Jadeveon Clowney. If Clowney returns to the ‘Hawks, perhaps Griffen will settle for a one-year deal on a Minnesota defense that he will not have to learn on the fly.

Now for more from the league’s north divisions:

  • Of the three OTs the Vikings added in this year’s draft, only second-rounder Ezra Cleveland profiles as an immediate threat to incumbent LT Riley Reiff. The team could again entertain the notion of kicking Reiff inside to LG, but that’s only if Cleveland proves himself ready for starting left tackle duties, which would be a tall order given the COVID-19 restrictions. So as Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune suggests, Reiff will likely stay at LT for the time being, and 2019 fourth-rounder Dru Samia will compete with Pat Elflein for the starting LG slot. The team could also target a free agent for that role, including Josh Kline, whom the Vikings released in a cost-cutting move in March.
  • Bears WR Allen Robinson said towards the end of last season that he is interested in an extension with Chicago, but the two sides do not appear to be close to a new deal, per Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Robinson is ticketed for free agency after the 2020 campaign, and Biggs suggests that the franchise tag could be in play if there is no extension in place by the second month of the season.
  • Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic says both A.J. Green and the Bengals have interest in getting a long-term deal done, but it’s unclear exactly how much interest. He expects that nothing will come together prior to the July 15 deadline, which means Green will have to play out the 2020 season on his franchise tender. While there’s a better chance Cincinnati comes to terms with RB Joe Mixon on a new contract, that will not happen before a decision on Green is made. The Bengals are reportedly bracing themselves for a Mixon holdout.
  • In the same piece linked above, Dehner says the Bengals are unlikely to make any free agent additions to the O-line at this point. In a separate piece, he notes that Cincinnati made a free agent splash on cornerbacks in free agency because it did not like this year’s CB draft class. The team did not take a defensive back with any of its seven selections.

Josh Kline Could Re-Sign With Vikings

Although the Vikings released guard Josh Kline on Wednesday, a reunion between the two parties “isn’t out of the question,” reports Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune (Twitter link).

Minnesota attempted to get Kline to restructure his contract before cutting him, per Goessling. In this case, “restructure” almost assuredly meant “pay cut,” something Kline was apparently unwilling to do. The 30-year-old Kline signed a three-year, $15.5MM pact with the Vikings just last offseason, but made it through only one year before being released. Minnesota saved $1.56MM in cap space by parting ways with Kline but absorbed $4.46MM in dead money.

Kline, who has also spent time with the Patriots and Titans, played in 13 games for the Vikings a year ago, missing the other three contests due to injury. Pro Football Focus graded him the league’s 42nd-best guard among 63 qualifiers. He now joins a free agent guard market that also includes Andrus Peat, Ronald Leary, and Daryl Williams, among others.

Vikings Release Josh Kline

The Vikings have released right guard Josh Kline, according to a club announcement. The move will save the Vikes $1.57MM against the cap while leaving $4.46MM in dead money.

Kline joined the Vikings on a three-year, $15.5MM deal in 2019, with $7.25MM of that sum guaranteed. He went on to play 71.7% of the team’s regular season snaps across 13 games, missing the other three due to injuries. This season also marked the end of his consecutive starts streak – he tallied 51, up until he missed Week 4 against the Bears.

Kline, who has also spent time with the Titans and Patriots, will likely find work elsewhere at a lesser rate.

North Notes: Joseph, Callaway, Dozier, Bears QB

The Vikings nose tackle Linval Joseph underwent surgery on his meniscus, according to Ben Goessling and Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune. Joseph, who did not play in Minnesota’s 28-24 victory against the Cowboys, has been on the team’s injury report since Week 7 with a knee injury, but had yet to miss any practice until last Thursday.

On a positive note, Joseph has not been placed on injured reserve and Goessling and Krammer cite sources within the organization that are optimistic he will return soon. With their bye coming in Week 12, Goessling and Krammer note the Vikings Week 13 matchup with the Broncos as a possible target date for Joseph’s return.

Here’s more updates from the teams in the AFC and NFC North:

  • Browns wide receiver Antonio Callaway was benched shortly before the team’s game against the Bills for tardiness on Sunday, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland still managed to pull out the 19-16 victory without Callaway, but the offense surely could have benefited from another dynamic receiver on the field. In Cabot’s report, a source told her that Callaway parked in a different lot than usual and arrived a few minutes late.
  • The Vikings plan to move forward with Dakota Dozier at right guard if starter Josh Kline has to miss more games with a concussion, according to Ben Goessling and Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune. Dozier replaced Kline after he left Sunday’s matchup against the Cowboys with concussion like symptoms. Kline was diagnosed with a concussion and is now in the NFL’s concussion protocol. Dozier has already started three games this season along Minnesota’s offensive front.
  • If the Bears decide to move on from quarterback Mitchell Trubisky this offseason there will be a plethora of strong veteran options, according to Dan Pompei of The Athletic. Pompei details ten signalcallers with varying degrees of past success. While free-agency seems poised to offer more viable options than usual, the play of young quarterbacks around the league has potentially pushed some other established veterans onto the trade market as well. Sitting at 4-5 and in third place in the NFC North, Chicago’s playoff hopes are dwindling by the week. Trubisky, in his third NFL season, has garnered the brunt of the criticism for the team’s underwhelming performance.

Injury Roundup: Hilton, Lions, Bolts, Rams

It’s looking like the Colts‘ passing attack will have to operate without its top weapon Sunday. T.Y. Hilton drew a doubtful designation on Indianapolis’ Friday injury report. He did not practice all week. The eighth-year wideout left the Colts’ Week 3 win with a quadriceps injury, and although the Raiders enter Week 4 ranked 30th in pass defense DVOA, the Colts went 0-2 without Hilton last season. They are already down previous starter Devin Funchess, who sits on IR. The Colts also ruled Darius Leonard out for a second straight week. The All-Pro linebacker remains in concussion protocol.

Here is the latest from the Week 4 injury front:

  • Matthew Stafford popped up on the Lions‘ injury report Friday; he’s listed as questionable with a hip malady. While Stafford should be expected to play, given that he’s played through injuries in recent years and holds the league’s third-longest active start streak among QBs with 131, this is a less-than-ideal scenario going into a key inter-conference matchup with the Chiefs. Rookie UDFA David Blough has been Stafford’s backup this season, though Jeff Driskel is now on Detroit’s 53-man roster.
  • That matchup will not include Chiefs starting running back Damien Williams, who will miss a second straight game with a knee ailment. LeSean McCoy put together two full practices this week and will likely team up with Darrel Williams, as he did last week, in Detroit.
  • Good news for the Rams‘ offense. Sean McVay said both Austin Blythe and Tyler Higbee will be available against the Buccaneers on Sunday, per Lindsey Thiry of (on Twitter). Blythe missed Los Angeles’ Week 3 game with a sprained ankle, while Higbee has been sidelined with a lung contusion.
  • Another Chargers game will unfold without their primary kicker option. The Bolts ruled out Michael Badgley for a fourth straight contest. Punter Ty Long‘s multipurpose afternoons will continue. Long made both of his field goal tries last week after missing two in Week 2.
  • Additionally for the Bolts, they will be without Mike Williams. He’s been declared out with a back injury. Travis Benjamin will head to Miami as doubtful to play, meaning Dontrelle Inman and Geremy Davis stand as the Chargers’ only two healthy auxiliary wideouts. This marks Williams’ second injury of the season. A knee problem plagued the third-year target earlier this month but did not force him to miss any time.
  • The Vikings‘ No. 2-ranked rushing attack will be tested in Chicago this week, and right guard starter Josh Kline will not play a part in the NFC North contest. The free agent acquisition will miss Sunday’s game with a concussion that kept him out of practice this week. This will end Kline’s 49-start streak. Veteran Dakota Dozier will start, per Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Dozier has started eight games in his six-season career, which included a Week 2 start in place of Pat Elflein.

NFC Notes: Rosen, Cardinals, Draft, 49ers, Street, Vikings, Kline

It’s been a rollercoaster of an offseason for Josh Rosen. His first head coach was fired, and his new coach Kliff Kingsbury initially re-committed to him. But ever since then momentum has shifted toward the Cardinals using the first overall pick on Kyler Murray, and looking to trade Rosen. Arizona hasn’t done much to tamp down speculation, and the current conventional wisdom is that the Cards will take Murray. The draft isn’t until April 25th, but current Cardinals players are due to report for offseason workouts on April 8th. When those workouts take place, don’t be surprised if Rosen isn’t there, argues Bob McManaman of The Arizona Republic.

McManaman writes that both Rosen and the team might not want him to report, for several reasons. McManaman notes that the Cardinals were eligible to start workouts this coming week, but pushed back the start of their offseason program by a week. Kingsbury said it was for scheduling purposes, but McManaman speculates that it could’ve been to give them more time to work out a Rosen trade. McManaman also argues that the team won’t want to have the free-speaking Rosen shoved in front of a gaggle of reporters right now, and that there’s always the risk of an injury. If Rosen does decide to no-show the workouts, it’ll add a whole lot of fuel to the rumors that he isn’t long for the desert.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • Arizona’s division rival, the 49ers, also have an important draft ahead of them. The 49ers pick second overall, and the last we heard they were targeting Ohio State pass-rusher Nick Bosa. But the 49ers are also looking to add pass-catchers, and will soon host a pair of wideouts for visits. San Francisco will bring in South Carolina receiver Deebo Samuel and Ole Miss receiver A.J. Brown, sources told Matt Barrows of The Athletic. It sounds like the 49ers are still leaning Bosa at number two, assuming the Cardinals pass on him, but are looking to bring in a new weapon for Jimmy Garoppolo with one of their next picks.
  • Speaking of the 49ers, we have an update on Kentavius Street. Street was a highly regarded prospect from NC State last year, but he tore his ACL at his pro day. San Francisco still thought highly enough of him to draft him in the fourth round, but he missed his entire rookie season. Street bulked up while he was sidelined with the injury, and coach Kyle Shanahan said from the owners meetings he’s been encouraged by his progress, according to Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports. Shanahan said he could see Street playing both inside and outside, and he’s a good bet to make an impact as a sophomore.
  • The Vikings signed guard Josh Kline last week to bolster their offensive line, and now we have details on the contract. The Vikings guaranteed Kline $7.25MM at signing, according to Ben Goessling of The Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Goessling reports that the Vikings now have less than $3MM in cap space, and will now need to make some maneuvers in order to be able to sign their draft class next month. The Vikings’ offensive line was a weak spot last year, and they’ll be counting on Kline to give them a boost. Kline received average marks from Pro Football Focus last year, grading out as their 50th-best guard.

Vikings To Sign Josh Kline

The Vikings seem to have found their replacement for Nick Easton. On Wednesday, the team agreed to sign offensive lineman Josh Kline, according to a source who spoke with’s Courtney Cronin (on Twitter). It’ll be a three-year, $15.75MM deal when all is said and done.

[RELATED: Vikings Re-Sign Dan Bailey]

Kline signed a four-year, $26MM deal ($12MM guaranteed) with the Titans last offseason, but the team moved on from him after he rejected a pay cut earlier this month. The lineman started all 16 games in 2018, although the advanced metrics imply that he took a step back from his previous seasons. After rating as a fringe top-20 guard in 2017, Pro Football Focus graded Kline 50th among 77 eligible guards in 2018.

The Vikings need some reinforcement on the offensive line, which is exactly what Kline can provide. At the moment, it appears that he’ll be in line to serve as the team’s starting right guard.

Interestingly, his new deal gives him a comparable average annual value to his previous deal, so he probably made the right call by rejecting the Titans’ push for a pay cut.

OL Josh Kline Expected To Visit Vikings

Josh Kline is expected to meet with the Vikings. ESPN’s Ben Goessling reports (via Twitter) that the veteran offensive guard is currently “coordinating visits with different teams,” a grouping that will presumably include Minnesota.

We learned yesterday that the Vikings had interest in Kline, whom Tennessee released several days ago. In Minnesota, the 29-year-old would compete for Minnesota’s starting right guard job, which Mike Remmers had held down since the end of the 2017 campaign. The Vikings released Remmers last week.

Kline signed a four-year, $26MM deal ($12MM guaranteed) with the Titans last offseason, but the team ended up moving on from him after Kline rejected a pay cut. The lineman started all 16 games in 2018, although the advanced metrics imply that he took a step back from his previous seasons. After rating as a fringe top-20 guard in 2017, Pro Football Focus graded Kline 50th among 77 eligible guards in 2018.

The Vikings need some reinforcement on the offensive line, and the team reportedly made a push to keep Nick Easton in Minnesota. Ultimately, the lineman signed a four-year deal with the Saints.

Vikings Interested In Josh Kline

The Vikings are interested in former Titans right guard Josh Kline, per Darren Wolfson of (via Twitter). Kline, whom Tennessee released several days ago, would compete for Minnesota’s starting RG job, which Mike Remmers had held down since the end of the 2017 campaign. The Vikings released Remmers last week.

It is difficult to say, however, whether Kline would be a marked upgrade. He has been a full-time starter since 2015, his last season with the Patriots, and the advanced metrics appreciated his play in 2016 and 2017, his first two years with the Titans. However, he took a noticeable step back last season after signing a four-year, $26MM deal with Tennessee. Pro Football Focus graded Kline 50th among 77 eligible guards in 2018, while Remmers was graded 48th. Remmers, soon to be 30, is less than one year older than Kline.

Of course, advanced metrics don’t tell the whole story, and Kline has proven he is capable of more than what he showed last year. Minnesota’s biggest need entering free agency was the offensive line, and the club has still not made any moves to address that need.

But given the Vikings’ limited cap space, it was clear they would have to wait until the second wave of free agency anyway, and it appears they may be on the verge of two signings. In addition to its interest in Kline, Minnesota has made an offer to Nick Easton, who was expected to serve as the team’s left guard in 2018. Easton, though, suffered a herniated disc in training camp and missed the entire season as a result.

Easton has several offers in hand and is expected to make his decision by tomorrow.

Titans Release OL Josh Kline

Josh Kline‘s tenure in Tennessee has come to an end. The Titans are planning on releasing the offensive lineman, reports Titans reporter Paul Kuharsky (via Twitter).’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the guard turned down a pay cut, which would have kept him on the team. Instead, he’s set to his free agency for a second-straight offseason.

Kline signed a four-year, $26MM deal ($12MM guaranteed) with the Titans last offseason. He proceeded to start all 16 games last season, although the advanced metrics imply that he took a step back in 2018. After rating as a fringe top-20 guard in 2017, Pro Football Focus graded Kline 50th among 77 eligible guards in 2018.

The Titans have already added one offensive guard in Rodger Saffold. If the Titans don’t make any additions to their offensive line, they could turn to Kevin PamphileCorey Levin, or Dennis Kelly to start opposite their free agent addition.