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Friday, February 21, 2014
Bengals' free agents could fit with Vikings

By Ben Goessling

INDIANAPOLIS -- Since Mike Zimmer took over as the Minnesota Vikings' head coach, it's been a popular and sensible exercise to project whether the Vikings might be a good fit for some of the Cincinnati Bengals' pending free agents that Zimmer coached while he was the defensive coordinator there.

On Friday, Zimmer didn't dispute the idea that he'd like to bring some familiar players to Minnesota, but also hoped he'd be able to connect with a number of the players currently on the roster.

"I think the familiarity of guys with me, I think that's always important, but I don't know that I need to do that," Zimmer said when asked about bringing former players to the Vikings. "Hopefully, we have some people in Minnesota that will be 'Zim' guys."

Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson seems like an obvious candidate to get a strong look from the Vikings in free agency this spring, though Johnson will have plenty of offers and could command a sizable offer if he gets to the open market. Cornerback Brandon Ghee could be another name to watch for the Vikings. ESPN Bengals reporter Coley Harvey thinks there's a chance Cincinnati won't bring Ghee back. Though he hasn't taken off like the Bengals had hoped, Ghee is only 26 years old.

If the Vikings didn't land Johnson and decided not to re-sign Jared Allen, could Brian Robison slide over to Allen's old right end spot? "When I get them on the field and when I start seeing them for a day or two, I’ll have a much better idea if Brian can play the right side," Zimmer said. "I don’t know if he can get in a left-handed stance. He’s always been in a right-handed stance. So I just don’t know enough about him."