The Minnesota Vikings are winnowing down the roster, cutting nose tackle Letroy Guion and wide receiver Greg Childs.
The #Vikings have released WR Greg Childs and DT Letroy Guion.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) March 6, 2014
Letroy Guion has been a starter at nose tackle since 2012, and played at the nose tackle position since 2010, where he moved to after playing as a rotational under tackle for the Vikings in 2008 and 2009. Drafted out of Florida State in the fifth-round, Guion’s role has always been more natural at the 3-technique spot, where he played at occasionally in his professional years before the Vikings committed to Jimmy Kennedy (and later Christian Ballard) in the rotational 3-technique spot.
Initially a move designed to ameliorate the upcoming loss of Pat Williams in the nose tackle spot (and rotate in Kennedy), Guion saw significant snaps in 2011 after the Vikings signed nominal starter Remi Ayodele, who in fact saw fewer snaps than Guion over the year.
Guion outperformed Ayodele in those limited snaps and was installed as the starter, but has been wanting at best. He’s been moved around on double teams and hasn’t been an able run defender, though has been able to generate pass-rushing pressure in one-on-one situations at times.
All of the strengths that Guion had, however, were replicated by his backup Fred Evans, who nearly outperformed him in every way. In his years with significant snaps, Pro Football Focus ranked Guion as the 60th of 88 defensive tackles, 85th of 85 and 60th of 69.
Honestly, it was a bit of a struggle to explain why Guion kept his starting job despite consistent underperformance and one of several black marks for former head coach Leslie Frazier throughout his tenure.
As for Greg Childs, the promising prospect out of Arkansas was deemed as a potential first-round pick as a junior before suffering a patellar tendon tear. His workouts in the 2012 NFL Combine were phenomenal, but his injury risk dropped him to the 4th-round. He began to look promising in training camp before an extremely rare bilateral patellar tendon tear (a simultaneous tear to both knees), a condition unusual enough that English and German medical literature only had records of 50 previous cases throughout the history of recorded medicine.
Sitting out two NFL seasons on IR, then the PUP list, Greg Childs’ best chance at making an NFL roster was this year, when his knees would theoretically be repaired.
He probably will have one more shot at best to make an NFL roster, but injury has clearly derailed an extremely promising career.
Letroy Guion cost $4.3 million in cap space, while Childs incurred a $645k cost, per spotrac. Because Guion had a signing bonus, his cut saves a net of $4 million, while Childs’ cut nets just under $500k in space.