Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Tyrell Johnson's future with the Vikings
By Kevin Seifert
To address a question many of you have posed: If Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier follows previous form, it's unlikely he'll release or immediately discipline safety Tyrell Johnson, who was arrested early Tuesday morning on suspicion of driving while impaired.
Two other players have been arrested since Frazier took over as the Vikings' permanent coach over the winter. Defensive lineman Everson Griffen was arrested twice in the span of three days in February, first for on suspicion of public intoxication and then for allegedly assaulting a police officer following a traffic stop. Meanwhile, quarterback Rhett Bomar was arrested for drunken driving during training camp.
Griffen remained with the team and is part of the Vikings' defensive line rotation. Bomar wasn't released until the Vikings needed to reduce their roster during the first round of cuts last month.
Johnson's blood-alcohol level was 0.12 percent when he arrested, according to reports.
We'll wait to hear from Frazier during Wednesday's media availability, but it seems as though he set a precedent with Griffen, if not Bomar. First offenses, which this appears to be for Johnson, haven't merited severe discipline under Frazier to this point.
As we discussed in Tuesday's SportsNation chat, which I appreciate everyone turning out for, the bigger question is whether Frazier sees anything in Johnson to merit his continued presence on the field. Johnson was the Vikings' top draft pick in 2008, but he has been locked in a two-year competition for a starting job with Jamarca Sanford. His drop of an interception in the fourth quarter Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was one of the key misplays of a stunning 24-20 loss.