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Litchfield native, former Viking Carlson inks deal with Arizona

In 27 games with the Minnesota Vikings, Litchfield native John Carlson caught 40 passes for 387 yards and one touchdown. USA TODAY Sports

Sports Xchange

The Cardinals signed tight end and Litchfield native John Carlson to a two-year contract on Friday for a reported $4.65 million.

The Minnesota Vikings released the 29-year-old Carlson last week after two seasons with the team. Carlson has a history of concussions, including the third one of his career that ended the 2013 season after 13 games.

Carlson came to the Vikings after three years with the Seattle Seahawks that included two seasons with more than 50 catches. He never approached those totals with the Vikings, finishing with 32 receptions for 344 yards and one touchdown last season.

Obviously, Carlson hopes to do with the Cardinals what he did in Seattle.

“It’s a huge goal,” he said. “Football is a great game because it is the ultimate team sport, and it isn’t just about the accolades and the numbers. That said, great teams have great individuals with great stats. I want to do what I can to contribute to this team. I want to have as many catches as possible.”

Carlson signed a five-year, $25 million contract with the Vikings in 2012 after three years with the Seahawks. He collected $9.55 million in guarantees during his two seasons in Minnesota, according to

Carlson’s best years were his first two in the NFL when he had 55 and 51 catches with a combined 12 touchdowns in 2008 and 2009 for the Seahawks.

He did have issues with concussions with the Vikings, and there had been speculation he might retire. However, Carlson made sure he was cleared by doctors to continue playing.

He said, “This is football and it’s a risky game. Concussions are a serious thing and I took the proper steps. It’s a blessing to be in this business. I saw some experts. I was disappointed to end the season on (injured reserve) ... but I feel really good.”