Gone are the name tags, jerseys, and personal items that filled a number of lockers at U.S. Bank Stadium. This afternoon, cuts began as the Minnesota Vikings trimmed the roster to 75 players.
The moves were part of the NFL’s offseason deadline, which requires all 32 teams to reduce their rosters from 90 to 75 by Tuesday at 4pm EST. Since the Vikings practice on Tuesday, the cuts needed to happen on the team’s off day.
With a short week ahead, players on the bubble have one last shot to make the roster. Many who survived this wave won’t survive the next, which is scheduled for September 3. After the jump, find out who didn’t make the roster, and who’s in danger heading into the team’s final preseason game. We’ll be updating the list as more cuts are announced.
- LB Terrance Plummer
- OG Sean Hickey
- DE Thieren Cockran
- OT Austin Shepherd
- DT Claudell Louis
- QB Brad Sorensen
- WR Marken Michel
- TE Brian Leonhardt
- WR Terrell Sinkfield
The first cuts began around 3:30 pm CST with Terrance Plummer, an undrafted free agent who signed to Minnesota’s practice squad in 2015. NFL Trade Rumors broke the story and continues to update its pages with the latest roster developments.
Darren Wolfson followed that with two more names — offensive guard Sean Hickey and defensive end Thieren Cockran. Hickey signed earlier this month as a camp body and was buried on the depth chart behind Brandon Fusco and Isame Faciane. Cockran, an undrafted free agent out of Minnesota, has the size that Zimmer loves at defensive end, but played in limited snaps this preseason.
The next cut was rather surprising, as Chris Tomasson confirmed the release of Austin Shepherd. A seventh-round pick in 2015, Shepherd was third on the depth chart behind Andre Smith and T.J. Clemmings at right tackle. He’s appeared in 14 total games for the Vikings and has the ability to play on either side. Given the lack of depth at both tackle spots, Shepherd’s release comes at a time when Minnesota needs all the offensive line help it can get.
Tomasson continued to break news, reporting the release of defensive tackle Claudell Louis and backup quarterback Brad Sorensen. With Sharrif Floyd healthy and a glut of talent along the defensive line, Louis was always a long shot to make the team.
And Sorenson, signed as a camp arm amidst reports of Teddy Bridgewater’s sore shoulder, is done after a week of practice. There was a hope he’d remain on the roster through Thursday’s game, but his release indicates Shaun Hill and Joel Stave will take the majority of reps against the Rams.
Marken Michel was the next to go, as reported by Tomasson. Like many of the players on this list, Michel was an undrafted free agent in 2016 and unlikely to make the final 53-man roster. He flashed dual-threat ability in college as a wide receiver and running back, but wasn’t listed on the team’s most recent unofficial depth chart — a sign of his final standing among wide receivers.
The Vikings also received word tonight that tight end MyCole Pruitt is not expected miss a whole ton of time (we’ll talk more about that soon), so an already overcrowded tight end depth chart was also weeded out a bit on Monday.
According to Darren Wolfson, the Vikings will waive tight end Brian Leonhardt before tomorrow’s deadline. Leonhardt was signed early in the offseason, with Rhett Ellison’s injury continuing to be a question mark, but Ellison’s return coupled with the rising star of rookie David Morgan simply left no room for Leonhardt on the roster.
Tuesday, August 30
On Tuesday, the Vikings officially announced the release of nine players, including the eight who’d been waived yesterday. With the moves, the roster currently stands at 80, and the Vikings need to cut five more players before today’s 4 pm EST deadline.
The newest addition is Terrell Sinkfield, a former CFL speedster who signed with the team in January. Sinkfield ran a reported 4.19 40-yard dash in 2013 and shot to Internet stardom following his impressive showing. He returned punts and took snaps at receiver for the Vikings this preseason, but wasn’t consistent enough in either role to garner a spot with the team.