E Point Perfect

Popular O-Lineman Again Linked to Vikings

Popular O-Lineman Again Linked to Vikings
Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter. © Jeff Lange / USA TODAY NETWORK.

If JC Tretter doesn’t ultimately sign with the Minnesota Vikings, fans of the franchise will eternally look back on the spring and summer with “what could have been” feelings.

Why? Well, Tretter has been a free agent since March after the Cleveland Browns shockingly released the 31-year-old center. And because the Vikings arguably need a new center, Tretter’s name has been desired by Vikings enthusiasts for three long months.

With the Vikings team need and Tretter’s possible need for employment, Tretter-to-Vikings has been advocated and theorized by national media (and local media) since March. Too, the Vikings new general manager, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, last worked in Cleveland, presumably having ties to Tretter.

This week, Bleacher Report banged the drum again on Tretter and a possible union with Minnesota. Alex Kay from BR authored an article about landing spots for the league’s top summer free agents, and Tretter was spitballed to the Vikings.

PurplePTSD: Tretter Still Out There, the Top 100, Earning Respect
Aug 22, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports.

Kay wrote, “New Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah knows what Tretter can bring to the table after he spent the past two seasons as Cleveland’s VP of football operations. With $9.7 million in cap space available to him, one of the best moves Adofo-Mensah could make before training camp would be shoring up the center position by signing Tretter to replace Bradbury.”

Signing on with the Vikings would be a marvelous maneuver for the frachise as Tretter’s resume from Pro Football Focus is wildly impressive:

  • 2014 = 51.6
  • 2015 = 76.2
  • 2016 = 78.2
  • 2017 = 69.1
  • 2018 = 76.9
  • 2019 = 72.0
  • 2020 = 77.1
  • 2021 = 78.7

Specifically, pass blocking is Tretter’s modus operandi. He has not encountered a PFF pass-blocking grade south of 80.0 since 2015. For Vikings fans, that should sound like a monumental upgrade from Garrett Bradbury, who is tentatively scheduled to start again in 2022.

A Tretter addition to the Vikings depth chart is so championed by Vikings fans because pass protection in Minnesota during the Mike Zimmer era was awful. These are the numbers from PFF:

Vikings OL Pass Protection,
NFL Ranking from PFF,
Since 2014:

2014 = 23rd
2015 = 28th
2016 = 30th
2017 = 17th
2018 = 27th
2019 = 27th
2020 = 29th
2021 = 27th

Bradbury struggles mightily keeping quarterback Kirk Cousins upright. Tretter doesn’t struggle mightily keeping anyone upright. And the Vikings have a new coaching staff, likely hellbent on fixing the trenches.

Therefore, until Tretter signs somewhere or retires, he will continue to be linked to Minnesota.

Tretter earned about $11 million per year in Cleveland, a deal signed in 2019.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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