Saturday, October 10, 2015

michael mauti

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I spent the last week or so in the great state of Alaska, and while I wish I were still catching salmon I can’t overstate how excited I am for this upcoming week of NFL football. More specifically, I am stoked to see how Mike Zimmer’s Vikings perform against the beleaguered San Francisco 49ers under the bright lights on Monday night.

I need to catch up on my Vikings reading and, following the holiday weekend, you may need some catching up yourself.

If that is the case, then fear not, we have all the links!

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Buried in roster cuts, the Vikings add new offensive line depth to the roster through a trade with the San Diego Chargers.

Image courtesy of

With a flurry of cuts coming before today’s deadline where teams are required to slim their roster down to 53 players, the Vikings have made a trade with the San Diego Chargers for offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles.

Though the official details of the trade are currently unknown, it is believed the Vikings sent a 2016 sixth round pick to the Chargers for Sirles.

Sirles, an undrafted free agent in the 2014 NFL Draft, only started two games last season at guard in place of injured Chargers lineman Johnnie Troutman. This preseason, Sirles has performed pretty well according to rankings provided by Pro Football Focus. See below for where Sirles would have ranked against other Vikings lineman had he been on the roster this preseason:

Sirles PFF Ranking
2015 Preseason rankings courtesy of

It is not expected Sirles will be an immediate contributor on the starting roster, but instead, a solid piece of depth to a roster currently void of any.

We will have a more in-depth breakdown of today’s roster cuts later this evening, but for now, here’s a list of the players currently believed to have been cut:

  • LB Michael Mauti
  • LB Brandon Watts
  • OL Tom Farniok
  • LB Brian Peters
  • WR Isaac Fruechte
  • OL Tyrus Thompson
  • S Anthony Harris
  • RB Dominique Williams
  • FB Blake Renaud
  • WR Ryan Whalen

  • OL David Yankey
  • OL Babatunde Aiyegbusi
  • DB Shaun Prater
  • CB Josh Thomas
  • RB DuJuan Harris
  • OG Bobby Vardaro
  • DE Leon Mackey
  • WR Donte Foster
  • DT Chigbo Anunoby

Stay tuned for more!

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Never is the business of the NFL more evident, and harsh, than these two days as hundreds of NFL players will lose their jobs and possibly their football careers.

The dream will end for 21 players for the Minnesota Vikings as they make their roster decisions to make Saturday’s 53-man roster limit. Cornerback Jabari Price will go on the suspended list, delaying any decision on his future and leaving one spot for another player.

Mike Zimmer, Norv Turner and Minnesota’s coaches and personnel staff will have some tough decisions. I believe there are about 45 players who can be considered set on the roster, leaving 29 players for eight spots. Here’s a look at what I believe the Vikings roster might look at, come Saturday afternoon before any potential additions from other teams:

Image courtesy of

Just two short weeks ago, while prioritizing my view on the offseason needs of the Minnesota Vikings, I placed inside linebacker at the top of the list and wrote this sentence:

Audie Cole and Michael Mauti have plenty of fan support, but it just seems like they are not destined for stardom.

Well, maybe I jumped the gun a little there.  Maybe, just maybe, I underestimated how much perception could change over the course of two (or one, really) NFL football game.

In Week Seventeen, against an uninspired and lackluster Chicago Bears team, Audie Cole filled in for Chad Greenway and the results were genuinely impressive.  In fact, I would personally go so far as to say Cole had one of the best linebacker performances we’ve seen since Antoine Winfield’s prime (I still stand by my assertion that Winfield was more linebacker than corner).

Cole received a higher game grade (+7.8) from Pro Football Focus than Greenway ever has in his career and, from what I can tell, is the highest grade given to a player of the same position all year.  That, to say the least, is a pretty impressive “next man up” effort.

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[NOTE FROM ADAM:  Brent Butler approached me with some questions regarding the media coverage of the Vikings linebacker spot and the lack of respect shown to Audie Cole.  I thought his email to me was coherent enough, and on a topic worthy of discussion, so I encouraged him to reformat his email into an article and send it my way.  This is the result.  Enjoy!]

By Brent Butler

Why isn’t Audie Cole a leading candidate for one of the three starting linebacker spots by the media?

I know he’s been mentioned as a competing candidate, but I don’t hear anyone saying he’s a leading candidate. Regardless of all the chatter around the Vikings linebacker competition; Chad Greenway, Anthony Barr and Audie Cole are the leading candidates for  the three starting spots coming into training camp this year. Few people question Greenway as a starter, and most people think Barr will start, but no one is talking about Audie Cole as a leading candidate in the media and I don’t know why.

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