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sports comment 5-2 (gnl)

Purple should take a shot

The Carolina Panthers released wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson on Tuesday.

Johnson (6-foot-4, 211 pounds) will turn 35 this summer. In 11 years as a professional, Johnson has more than 10,000 yards receiving and 64 touchdowns.

Johnson was an analyst for ESPN during last weekend’s NFL Draft. When the Panthers selected USC’s Dwayne Jarrett, Johnson praised the selection and said he’d mentor the young wide receiver.

Now he’ll never play with Jarrett.

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Maybe a certain team in purple should take a chance and sign the veteran.

Johnson has been called a "cancer" in the locker room. But he’s matured (hopefully), and at 35 he could be the perfect teacher for a Vikings receiving corps that’s loaded with youngsters.

Johnson wouldn’t cost much, so it’s not like the team would be taking a major risk. He’s no longer a go-to receiver, but he could be a safety valve for young QB Tarvaris Jackson.

If he’s willing to accept the role as teacher, the Vikings should take a shot on Johnson.

Ben Pherson

bpherson@postbulletin.com

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