2013 NFL free agents: Will Phil Loadholt stay in Minnesota?

USA TODAY Sports

The free agency signing period is getting closer, and there still is no deal in place between Loadholt and the Vikings.

The Minnesota Vikings declined to put its franchise tag on right tackle Phil Loadholt, leaving his future with the franchise up in the air. Tagging him would have proven a costly move for Minnesota -- he would have earned more than $9.8 million dollars in 2013, which is a lot of money to invest in a right tackle.

Back in February, Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said the team wanted to retain Loadholt well into the future, and that they value continuity up front:

"Continuity is a huge part of it on the offensive line because those guys have to work as one unit and they have to know each other inside and out. They work together on combination blocks, on picking up stunts and twists when they're in pass pro passing off. I think continuity is a big key to that. We'd love to keep Phil Loadholt, so we'll try to do everything we can to keep Phil Loadholt but we also have a lot of guys we'd like to keep."

Since they didn't tag him, we know how far the Vikings won't go, from a financial perspective. But will they be willing to offer enough to beat out other potential suitors? The league's free agency period begins on March 12, and if the two sides haven't agreed to an extension by then, it may be time for Vikings fans to start worrying.

Loadholt has been a starter for the Vikings ever since they selected him in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He has made 63 regular-season starts for the franchise and hasn't missed a game since his rookie year. While he hasn't earned any trips to the Pro Bowl, he's been an above-average player at his position for Minnesota, and his mix of talent and experience could make him a valuable commodity on the open market. He's also relatively young at 27 years old.

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson certainly appreciates Loadholt's work and hopes the team will be able to retain his services. After he nearly broke the NFL single-season rushing record, it's not surprising that Peterson is happy with the guys up front.

Loadholt finished out the regular season strong, allowing zero sacks after Week 9. If there was an issue for him last year, it was the fact that he was charged with 11 penalties, but that's not likely to do anything to damage his value. This close to the free agency period, Loadholt may want to go ahead and see just how he is valued in the eyes of other franchises.

More in the NFL:

NFL mock draft: Changes on the eve of free agency

This is a fake column about Percy Harvin and NFL free agency

Tony Gonzalez will return to Falcons

Victor Cruz wants No. 1 receiver money

Vikings trade Percy Harvin to Seahawks

Ranking the NFL’s top 50 free agents

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.