Can we all just agree that we're going to officially call Vikings DT Tom Johnson "Sebastian Thunderbucket"? It makes the titles of my articles sound so much cooler! Here we go...
It has to be a weird reunion for "new" Vikings defensive Tom Johnson as he walks through the doors at the Vikings facility the newest member of the Vikings team.
Johnson, who spent four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, has never been to the new team facility in Eagan. Many of the faces he knew including Brian Robison and Terrance Newman are no longer staples in the team locker room, but there are things that are the same.
Having signed on with the Seattle Seahawks during free agency this past offseason, Johnson had plans to replace Sheldon Richardon on the Seahawks line and contribute as a starter for Pete Carrol. Only that's not how it worked out.
To open a roster spot for the Seahawks to carry an extra defensive back for last week's game, Johnson was released and the team told him they had planned to sign him back on the Tuesday after the Monday Night game against Chicago.
What they didn't expect was for other teams to come calling. And they did, multiple teams including the Minnesota Vikings.
"It was discussed that once that gang came in on Tuesday then we were going to discuss something [for my return]," Johnson explained to the Minneapolis media. "I guess they didn't think I was going to get as much interest as I got. Other teams started coming in and I guess they decided that they wanted to go another way."
Slighted a bit by the decision, Johnson made the choice to sign with the Vikings on a favorable deal since Seattle was still paying him and now he's ready to work.
"I think it was just a business decision," Johnson said though he also added that the decision did bother him.
"It's only going to motivate me," Johnson said of the surprise Seattle decision. He didn't see it coming because of "what was said when I first got out there and what I did for the preseason...For them to want to go younger at this point in time, it's only going to motivate me. I'm a blue collar guy anyway."
When the teams came calling to inquire about his services, Johnson explained that Minnesota quickly became the easy choice.
"Minnesota is stacked everywhere, they've got good players everywhere," Johnson explained. "I felt like this would be the best fit. You've got Dre (Andre Patterson, Vikings d-line coach), Zim [Mike Zimmer] and I know all the guys here. This is where my career started going up. I think it's a good fit and things are only going to get better."
Johnson will split time with Sheldon Richardson as a 3-technique and figures to see decent action considering the way that Minnesota rotates in and out to keep fresh bodies on the field.