The Minnesota Vikings have made several moves in the past few days as they seek to reduce their roster down to the 53-man limit tomorrow. Along with roster cuts and players being placed on waivers, there are also rumors of possible trades that are seeping out of the TCO Performance Center facility. Let’s track what we know so far.
Dropping the Roster to 80
To get down to their 80-man limit last Thursday, the Vikings made the following moves:
Traded for: Acquired Nick Mullens from the Las Vegas Raiders, presumably to take up the backup quarterback duties.
Released: Albert Wilson-Free agent wide receiver who despite his two touchdown performance in the first preseason game could not leapfrog the younger receivers ahead of him on the depth chart.
Waived with an Injury Designation: Former 49er defensive tackle Julian Taylor.
Waived: Cornerback Harrison Hand who lost the numbers game at that position. Also waived was former Denver Broncos tight end, Shaun Beyer. Hand was subsequently picked up by the New York Giants.
Placed on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform List: Linebacker Ryan Connelly and wide receiver Blake Proehl. Both players are recovering from ACL injuries and cannot be activated until the fifth game of the season.
Minnesota Vikings Release their Punter
Released: Punter Jordan Berry. Even though Coach Kevin O’Connell said that he and fellow punter Ryan Wright would compete in a punt-off during the last preseason game against the Broncos, Coach O’Connell decided to make this move prior to the game.
This was mostly a salary cap move as the Vikings stand to save about $190,000 in cap space by keeping Wright. Also, as it turns out, Wright had a lights-out game against the Broncos on Saturday night. Wright will also take over as the holder for kicker Greg Joseph on field goals and extra points.
Re-signed: Cornerback Tye Smith. Minnesota Vikings player who was elevated from the practice squad for five games last season.
Starting to Reduce the Roster to 53
To begin to pare down to their 53-man opening day roster, the Minnesota Vikings made the following moves today:
Placed on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform List: Defensive Tackle T.Y. McGill and wide receiver Olabisi Johnson. This is a tough blow for both players. Journeyman McGill was having an incredible preseason with three and a half sacks and playing beastly against the run.
For Johnson, this will a second lost season in a row. Coach O’Connell had just commented on how good Johnson had looked in camp and how much hard work he had put in to get where he was.
Waived: Waived wide receiver Myron Mitchell and offensive tackle Timon Paris. Former Vikings practice squad player Mitchell did not have a lot of time to shine with the glut of receivers on the Vikings team. Parris, the former Stoney Brook star failed to impress in the team’s three exhibition games.
Minnesota Vikings Rumors
On the rumor front, there are purportedly 12 teams interested in the services of backup running back Alexander Mattison. Mattison, who becomes a free agent after this season might be expendable due to the presence of the speedy Kene Nwangwu and North Carolina alum Ty Chandler on the team.
One rumor that has likely been squashed forever is the Vikings’ pursuit of free-agent center J.C. Tretter. Tretter announced his retirement last week after not being contacted by the Vikings or any other NFL team.
Look for more Minnesota Vikings roster news tomorrow from other members of Gridiron Heroics’ Football Beat staff.