After signing Julius Peppers to rush the passer over the weekend, the Packers today added a rotational run-down defensive lineman for their 3-4 defensive scheme, former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Letroy Guion.
Guion, 6-4 and 303, started 28 games the last two seasons while sharing the Vikings’ nose tackle position with Fred Evans. Guion's agent tweeted the news of the signing, and according to Ravensinsider.com, Guion’s contract is for one year. No other details were available, though the one-year price for a rotational run stopper presumably was modest.
Though position assignment with some players is a little ambiguous, the signing gives the Packers seven defensive linemen,which usually is the most they carry on their 53-man roster: Peppers, B.J. Raji, Datone Jones, Josh Boyd, Mike Daniels, Jerel Worthy and Guion.
Mike Neal also is likely to play some on the defensive line this season, though he played primarily at outside linebacker last season. Peppers could see snaps at outside linebacker as well as on the defensive line.
Guion has the length (6-4) the Packers prefer for their interior defensive linemen in their two-gapping, 3-4 scheme. His signing doesn’t preclude the re-signing any of their other three free agent defensive linemen – Ryan Pickett, Johnny Jolly and C.J. Wilson – but indicates the Packers are looking to upgrade on the line at least incrementally.
Pickett's age (34) leaves his return in question, and Jolly's future with the team is in question because he still is recovering from neck-fusion surgery.
The Vikings cut Guion in early March to create salary-cap room that they used in part to sign free-agent defensive tackle Linval Joseph. Guion, 27, was going into the last year of a three-year, $9 million contract that was to pay him $3.05 million this season.
Guion played slightly more than Evans last season – 388 snaps to Evans’ 350 – but the Vikings chose to re-sign Evans to a one-year contract to backup Joseph, and release Guion.
Guion, a fifth-round draft pick out of Florida State in 2008, is primarily a run defender and has only five sacks in six NFL seasons (68 games). Last season he had 21 tackles and one sack.