According to Adam Schefter at ESPN, Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Matt Kalil is expected to sign with the Carolina Panthers and reunite with his brother, center Ryan Kalil.
With rumors flying around about Matt Kalil’s potential return to Minnesota and what the potential burden of that deal would be, this might come as a big relief to Vikings fans—though it does open up the worry of what Minnesota could possibly do at left tackle going forward without an in-house solution.
This might mean shooting for someone like Riley Reiff, Andrew Whitworth, Will Beatty or Russell Okung in free agency, experimenting by pushing Alex Boone to the outside, or selecting a left tackle in the draft.
Matt Kalil hadn’t earned an average or better season-long grade from Pro Football Focus since 2013, and had his best year as a rookie in 2012. The Panthers previously had to rely on the services of Michael Oher, who also hadn’t earned positive marks in quite some time. According to Ian Rapaport, this would mean shifting Oher to right tackle instead of benching him entirely.
There, he will be coached by Panthers offensive line coach Ray Brown, who will be entering his second year as an offensive line coach for Carolina. Brown may be hoping to capitalize on what was reportedly a stronger 2016 preseason from Kalil, and a decent first showing in Tennessee in Week 1 before a hip injury caused him to struggle against the Green Bay Packers and he was subsequently put on injured reserve for the rest of the season.
Cam Newton was sacked on 6.6 percent of his dropbacks last year, the ninth-most in the NFL.