The Minnesota Vikings are no stranger to signing former Green Bay Packers.
Most notably, the team booked Hall-of-Fame signal-caller Brett Favre during the summer of 2009, preceding the formation of likely the most dominant Vikings team since Randy Moss’s record-breaking 1998 squad.
Since Favre, however, the Vikings have largely failed to reap the benefits of signing former Packers players. First there was wide receiver Greg Jennings, who signed a five-year, $47.5 million deal with the team back in 2013. Once Aaron Rodgers’ primary option, Jennings failed to extend his success across the state border, mustering just a hair over 1,500 yards across only two seasons in Minnesota.
During free agency this offseason, Mike Zimmer’s club targeted yet another Packer who had previously given the team fits — back Eddie Lacy — only to see the bowling bowl running back ditch Minnesota for the Seattle Seahawks.
The Vikings would later satisfy their craving with former first-round pick Datone Jones, an all-world athlete whom many analysts believe was played out of position in Dom Capers’ outdated defensive scheme. While this still could prove to be the case, Jones will not be silencing doubters in Minnesota, as the Vikings have reportedly reached an injury settlement with the former UCLA Bruin, effectively terminating a relationship that amounted to being just one short summer in purple and gold.
Minnesota parted ways with the former Green Bay first-round pick on Friday.
Jones, the 26th overall selection in the 2013 draft by Green Bay, was signed by the Vikings this offseason to play 3-technique defensive tackle. In a competition for backup DT behind starter Tom Johnson, he was beaten out by rookie Jaleel Johnson.
When the Vikings trimmed their roster to 53 players, Jones was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. It’s not considered serious. The 27 year-old is now free to sign with another team.
The release of Jones escalated the Vikings dead money to over $5 million. Jones was guaranteed a $1.8 million signing bonus, and recently released Alex Boone will receive $3.4 million.
According to Spotrac, the Vikings now own $9.3 million in salary-cap space — more than enough to do some damage on the open market if the right opportunity presents itself.