It's been a pretty hectic day tracking all of the Minnesota Vikings' roster moves. . .you know, when they finally got around to making them (thanks for dumping everything on us at one time, Mr. Spielman). Now that the dust has settled, what are we left with?
Well, the big thing to remember is that the roster is not going to look the same 24 hours from now. The Vikings will almost certainly be putting in some waiver claims on some players that were released by other teams. They're currently at #8 on the priority list (as it's still based on last year's draft order), and those claims have to be in by 11 AM Central time on Sunday. After the waiver claims have been awarded, we'll start hearing about who the Vikings have signed to the practice squad.
In the meantime, there were a couple of surprises today.
-The day started out with a mild surprise in the release of defensive tackle Fred Evans. While Evans was a solid rotational player, the combination of the team's desire to get younger combined with the strong pre-season of seventh-round pick Shamar Stephen spelled the end for the Boogie Man.
-However, the biggest surprise came pretty close to the deadline, when it was revealed that the Vikings would be cutting veteran safeties Chris Crocker and Kurt Coleman. Heck, I had Crocker starting next to Harrison Smith a week from now in St. Louis. Oops. Right now, Robert Blanton. . .who missed most of the pre-season with injury issues. . .would be your starter at the other safety position.
-The team currently has eight linebackers. They won't have eight linebackers at 11 AM Central time on Sunday.
-The team currently has two tight ends, as they decided to cut both Chase Ford and Allen Reisner. I'm not sure of the logic behind that as it stands right now, but it's a pretty safe bet that the Vikings won't have two tight ends at 11 AM Central time tomorrow, either.
-The team cut both Joe Banyard and Dominique Williams in favor of keeping two fullbacks, hanging on to both Jerome Felton and Zach Line. I'm sort of surprised that Line made the cut, as he didn't do much to stand out this pre-season.
-In the "beating a dead horse" category, I'm still not sure why Matt Asiata made it over Banyard. Given his performance this pre-season, I'm not sure Banyard clears waivers for the Vikings to put him on the practice squad again.
-The team is still carrying three quarterbacks. Cue the gnashing of teeth and the rending of garments.
-It's a damn shame that Tiny Richardson is going to end up having surgery on both knees. Lots of folks, including myself, thought he was a huge steal during the UDFA period, and had him making the squad.
-The biggest surprise to make the team, in my opinion, was offensive lineman Austin Wentworth. However, as the team kept nine offensive linemen, I'm not sure how comfortable I'd feel if I was in his shoes right now, particularly with the team being short at tight end and at safety (unless the coaches are super enamored with what they've got there right now).
-Of the ten players the Vikings drafted this past May, nine of them made the final roster, with the lone exception being cornerback Kendall James (6th round). On the other hand, Austin Wentworth was the only undrafted free agent to make this year's final roster. (Rodney Smith and Adam Thielen were on the practice squad last year. . .I'm talking about this past year's UDFA signing period.)
And that's what I've got after the Vikings cut their roster to 53. How about you folks? Biggest surprises? Impressions on how the roster looks right now?