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Vikings release...Josh Kline?

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Gotta say, didn’t see that one coming

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

As the clock to free agency ticked down, the Minnesota Vikings made several moves we all saw coming, some we didn’t see coming, and one that’s completely out of left field.

Well, okay, if you count the Diggs trade, TWO moves right out of left field. A short time ago the Vikings announced they terminated the contract of Josh Kline:

I mean...okay. But why? Kline, signed in free agency last year from Tennessee, was one of the guys most people thought (myself included) was one of the strengths in an offensive that needs to be upgraded.

Now, it needs more upgrading. With the release, the Vikings save about $1.5 million in cap money, but at the cost of almost $4.5 million in dead cap. If there was a guard I thought might be released not named Kline, I was looking at Pat Elflein, who had a salary bump of $2.3 million, and had they cut him would have incurred only 200K in dead cap, realizing $2 million in savings.

I have to say, I’m having a hard time figuring this one out. I looked at his PFF rankings, and his run blocking was graded out at a 62.3. Knowing that the Vikings are going are really going to full on run first, maybe the thinking is it’s time for Dru Samia to step up and shine. Samia has only played RG in college, Elflein graded out as a better run blocker (66.2, not much, but I’m trying Ringo, I’m reeeeeeallllly trying), and the Vikes do need to get younger.

Unless there’s an underlying injury we aren’t aware of, or a locker room issue like there was with Diggs, or setting up to make a trade that would significantly upgrade the position...I’m scratching my head.

UPDATE: They asked him to re-structure. He didn’t want to. So, yeah, whatever:

So, stay tuned for more, that will hopefully help explain what is so far a really...weird...move.

People have asked me what my thoughts on the Vikings moves are so far. Here:

I reserve the right to change my opinion based on what happens, though.