The nature of the NFL is that of a business, and franchises eliminated from the playoffs are in the business of planning ahead. The Minnesota Vikings, whose season ended Sunday following a 38-10 win over the Chicago Bears, started that process on Monday morning.
As announced on the team’s official website, the Vikings signed nine players to Reserve/Futures contracts, all of whom appeared on Minnesota’s practice squad during the 2016 season. They include:
- Sterling Bailey, DT
- Moritz Böhringer, WR
- Kyle Carter, TE
- Cayleb Jones, WR
- Marquis Lucas, T
- Tre Roberson, CB
- Bishop Sankey, RB
- Cedric Thompson, S
- Austin Shepherd, T
According to Yahoo Sports, when a player is signed to a reserve/future contract, they are theoretically signed for the upcoming season. The deals are signed at the league minimum based on years of experience in the NFL and usually cover one to two seasons. Only players who were not on any team’s active roster at the end of the season are eligible to sign reserve/future contracts.
Isaac Fruechte, who was elevated to Minnesota’s active roster on Saturday, may have made the list had he remained a member of the practice squad through the end of Week 17. In his first regular season action with the Vikings, Fruechte was targeted once on five offensive snaps.
All players signed to reserve/future contracts will be added to the Vikings’ active roster at the start of the 2017 league year. Notable names include Moritz Böhringer, Tre Roberson, and Austin Shepherd; players who flirted with active roster status and gained small followings among Vikings fans throughout the year.
Last offseason’s batch of “futures players” featured some familiar names, most notably Fruechte. He and Isame Faciane beat the odds to remain with the team through Training Camp. Faciane, however, was released midway through the season after an unfortunate DUI arrest.