The Vikings have concluded their rookie minicamp, and the release of Chris Kluwe wasn’t the only roster movement of note, so here is what we know:

DURON CARTER:  I will be travelling to Middletown, Ohio today where Cris Carter will be honored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance in his hometown.  As Carter speaks to a group of students, I would expect to hear him relay an important message that will draw on his experiences as a troubled young man that had to overcome numerous demons before becoming one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history.  His son, Duron, will also have to overcome his fair share of adversity if he wants to have a successful NFL career.  It appears that the Vikings will not be offering the younger Carter a contract after he tried out with the club over the weekend.

BRANDON KEITH:  The 28 year-old tackle was a seventh round selection of the Arizona Cardinals in 2008.  He started 20 out of 26 possible games as a Cardinal, but knee injuries derailed his career and he sat out the entire 2012 season.  Keith was reportedly at the Vikings minicamp on a tryout basis, but the Vikings signed him to a contract, as announced on Monday.  Keith is listed at 6′ 5″ and 335 pounds.

ADAM THIELEN:  The Minnesota State-Mankato wide out is 6′ 1″ and 192 pounds and also was signed to a contract after his tryout.  Last season, Thielen posted 74 catches for 1,176 yards and eight touchdowns.  Thielen, prior to the Draft, participated in a set of regional combines with hopes of catching the eye of an NFL scout or two.  At his pro day he ran a 4.49 second forty yard dash and could try to establish himself as a viable return man option.  A long shot to win a final roster spot?  Sure.  But he has already beat out some competition, as wide out Nicholas Edwards who was signed last week.  This is a significant vote of confidence for Thielen, however, as the Vikings gave Edwards a $5,000 signing bonus which is pretty high for an undrafted rookie.

ZACH LINE:  The ‘tweener fullback was signed as an undrafted rookie and the Vikings gave him the largest signing bonus of all the undrafted rookies.  He received an $8,000 signing bonus in exchange for his services.  If you think that the size of a signing bonus might be an indication as to how serious the Vikings are about developing these young prospects, 1500 ESPN has a full list of bonus amount which you can view right here.


  1. Nicolas Edwards got a $5,000 signing bonus for 3 days of work?
    Zach Line got an $8,000 bonus?

    Why would we give a FB an $8,000 bonus? Wow, the Vikings have Jerome Felton and and Rhett Ellison… I realize Zach was ranked as one of the top 3 FBs in this draft class, but I didn’t think he had any shot to make this team. Can Zach play TE? Are the Vikings sending a message to Rhett Ellison?

  2. Maybe it is Matt Asiata/Toby Gerhart big back role that the Vikings want to look at with Zach Zine?

  3. I felt Line would be directly competing with Asiata for the #2 FB, #3 RB job and also play on all the special teams units. He will need to out play Asiata on special teams to win the job. I’m not surprised he received the largest bonus. He was probably the highest profile guy they signed and they seem to place a lot of value in that versatile backup position. Last year they went the veteran route signing Lex Hilliard in the off-season (I think he received a bonus in the $25K range, not sure though, couldn’t find it) and he ended up getting cut.

  4. Good point Dan,
    I am not sure what the signing bonus was for Hilliard? But last year at this time the Vikings had some question marks about how Peterson would come back from his injury and the Vikings also had a hole to fill at the starting fullback spot. Hilliard was also an established NFL back.

    Well I will admit, I must NOT know the Vikings as well as I think I do… I thought the Vikings would covet/sign a smaller back with some speed and explosiveness that could also excel in pass protection and catching the football.

    Zach Line seems to be the big fish and the prized catch! Maybe I need to learn more about him and keep an eye on him in preseason.

    • We might need someone else to chime in on the Hilliard bonus. I’m pretty sure he got one but couldn’t find anything when I searched it. My point was more along the lines that if he did get one, it was for considerably more than what Line got as a undrafted rookie. In any case, I wouldn’t go overboard on any of the undrafted guys just yet. It’s been mentioned that last years squad had zero undrafted guys make the 53, and I think it’s likely that will happen again this year. Our P-squad will mostly be made up by these guys, so it’s good to be a little familiar with who is who.
      I agree with you about the expectation of a speedy 3rd down back. I do think Williams and Randle are worth keeping an eye on throughout training camp. Neither is a track star, but they offer some pass-catching and return skills.

    • I didn’t even see his name mentioned once the practices actually started. He didn’t do anything to warrant a contract offer, they are sticking with Williams and Randle from what I’ve read. I had some hopes for the guy but I really like what I’ve seen from these other two. I’m guessing one of the big issue’s for Rouse is that he doesn’t offer as much versatility from a special teams standpoint. He’s not going to be covering kicks at his size and even though he factored in as a return man in college, he probably doesn’t have the needed speed to be very effective at the NFL level. He could still be signed if there are injuries or get a chance with another team.

  5. Dan,
    I think Randle has very good speed. A tough runner that can break a long one. The highlight of his big hit on kickoff coverage was impressive… If he is a good tackler on special teams coverage and if he can pickup blitzes in pass protection he might get a good look in camp and preseason.

    JerodIs Williams ran a 4.51 40 time, not bad.. Randle is a bit faster but Williams has much better stats. Both guys are physical down hill runners… Not a lot of shake and bake going on. They hit the hole quick and run bigger than what they are.

    It will be fun to watch Asaita, Z Line, Joe Banyard, J Williams and Bradley Randle battle it out in camp and preseason.


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