We have a couple more cuts for the Minnesota Vikings, and one of them might qualify as the first real surprise that we've seen thus far.
Per numerous sources, the team is set to cut ties with offensive lineman David Yankey, their fifth-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. Yankey essentially red-shirted his first year in the NFL, as he was only active for one game, and there were high hopes for him coming into this season. The prevailing wisdom was that he would be able to compete for a starting spot this year after having a season to acclimate to the NFL. However, he had a rough preseason. . .in fact, he was the lowest-rated player in the preseason through Pro Football Focus' grades. . .and the Vikings have decided to cut their ties with him. I think just about everyone had him making the 53-man roster, but that's not going to be the case. There's a chance the team could place him on the practice squad. . .we'll have to see how that goes.
The other release that has been publicized at this time is much less shocking, and that's the release of fullback Blake Renaud. Renaud was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Boise State this offseason, and though he did have one preseason touchdown, he didn't have a whole lot of highlights outside of that.
Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press is reporting that the team will, however, keep fullback Zach Line on the roster, which is also a bit of a surprise. I know my 53-man roster prediction didn't include any fullbacks, and I'm pretty surprised that the team is keeping one.
With the releases of Yankey and Renaud, the Vikings are down to 64 players. They have to be down to 53 by 3:00 PM Central time.