The Minnesota Vikings officially cut five players from their 90 man roster bringing their total down to 85. The first round of cuts did not include any shocking cuts by any means.
The most shocking would be Tye Smith who has been in the league for a few years.
Yet this is not shocking due to the Cornerback and Safety depth the Vikings have acquired in free agency and the most recent draft. Cameron Dantzler and Patrick Peterson have all but locked up the starting cornerback positions. Andrew Booth Jr. has shown flashes of immense potential and has a great physicality to his game. Chandon Sullivan is a solid option for a nickel or dime Cornerback as he has shown through his previous years with the Packers. So, there are 4 guys that have starter potential this season
There are a few other guys in Kris Boyd, Nate Hairston, Harrison Hand, Parry Nickerson, and Akayleb Evans that I wouldn’t be surprised to see make the final roster. The main thing that will determine their fates would be what they can contribute when it comes to special teams. Kris Boyd has made some plays on Special Teams and I believe the potential in rookie Akayleb Evans is something worth keeping around.
I do believe that at least two to three of the next five players who get cut will come from the Vikings secondary. This could include guys like Hairston, Hand, and Nickerson, along with Myles Dorn and Mike Brown who play the Safety position. It will be important to pare this group down a bit in order to figure out which guys fit best into the various roles within Ed Donatell’s defensive schemes.
The second cut that was mentioned is that of Fullback, Jake Bargas. He did spend the last couple of years on the Vikings practice squad but he was only elevated for a couple of regular season games.
For those in C.J. Ham’s camp this could be either good news and mean that he has officially claimed the starting FB spot. It could also mean that the Vikings are going the way of much of the rest of the NFL and working towards eliminating the FB role/position altogether.
I believe that it is a sign that C.J. Ham has won the starting position and the Vikings could be working towards getting rid of the FB position by name as well. I could definitely see Ham lining up in a few different non-traditional FB positions. I do not think that he has any reason to worry that he is in danger of being cut. He is too valuable of a blocker and I think he will prove his worth as a receiver this year as well. Not to mention he is a hometown boy from Duluth,MN.
The third cut was Edge rusher, Andre Mintze. He is a bit of a surprise to me, if only for the fact that he has previous experience in Donatell’s defensive system since he came over from the Broncos. He played a decent amount in the first preseason game. However, he was not able to make a noticeable contribution and in a crowded EDGE room that includes Danielle Hunter and Zadarius Smith. He was a low risk/high reward possibility when he was signed but his time as a Viking has come to an end.
The fourth and fifth cuts included DT Tyarise Stevenson and WR Thomas Hennigan. They were both given a waived/injured designation. After signing Harrison Phillips this past offseason and already having Dalvin Tomlinson on the team, it was hard to see the Vikings keeping many more than two or three more Defensive Tackles.
With arguably the best Receiver duo in the league of Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, it was going to be hard to find a Wide Receiver spot on this team. Add in the depth of K.J. Osborn, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, free agent acquisition Albert Wilson, and rookie Jalen Nailor. Then you could see it being incredibly difficult to break through this roster to earn a WR spot.
The Next Five Vikings To Go
So those are the five cuts that have been already made. These are the five that I think could be gone by the next cut deadline of August 23. I believe that Myles Dorn and Mike Brown will both be cut unless they can prove themselves to be valuable contributors to the special teams units.
I also believe that Bryant Koback will be cut due to the fact that the Vikings have a very deep RB unit. With Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison being the one-two punch for the VIkings and having a couple of very good backups with explosive potential in Kene Nwangwu and Ty Chandler.
Number four will be Shaun Beyer due to the fact that the Vikings have quite a few Tight Ends that are at least slightly better than him.
Number five is a guy that I have not even heard any news about throughout training camp and the first preseason game. That man’s name is Timon Parris. With a solid starting T combo of Christian Darrisaw and Brian O’Neill, I think it would be hard to see the Vikings having more than one or two Ts behind them. Blake Brandel is a good swing tackle and can be relied upon when needed to be. Vederian Lowe is a young guy that has potential to be something special in this league.