After a long off-season, several weeks of training camp, and four preseason games, Rick Spielman has cut the Vikings roster down to 53 men. With so many talented players vying for a job, cut-day 2019 was one for the books.
Here are some of the top storylines:
“Sloterhouse” Has Fallen
Excited for my new opportunity with the Arizona Cardinals!
— Kyle Sloter (@KyleSloter) September 1, 2019
Vikings fans love a good backup quarterback battle, and Kyle Sloter vs. Sean Mannion was no exception. In this case, the vast majority of fans were rooting for Sloter, creating the nickname “Sloterhouse” for his support group. Since coming to Minnesota in 2017, Sloter has been electric each preseason, earning a perfect passer rating of 158.3 during this year’s campaign.
That said, he’s never given Mike Zimmer the confidence that a game-tested veteran could provide (e.g. Case Keenum, Sean Mannion). Fans will never know exactly what transpired behind closed doors, but reports say Sloter struggled to run the offense and often made the wrong play calls. During games, he could improvise and hide these issues from fans, but he couldn’t hide them from coach Zim. As of Sunday, Sloter is an Arizona Cardinal.
The Vikings reached for Treadwell in the 2016 draft, and he never got into a groove in Minnesota. Despite success in college, the former first-rounder immediately had problems with dropping passes, and he quickly became a mainstay in Minnesota media. “Fans” and analysts have been so harsh on social media, Treadwell recently quoted the Lion King, saying he’ll be “Hakuna Matata,” or “alright” no matter what happened on cut day:
“I have no worries, I’m like Lion King. Hakuna Matata.”
After three middling years, Rick Spielman finally pulled the plug on Treadwell. Earlier reports said Spielman was trying to trade Treadwell for a late-round draft pick, but he wasn’t able to recoup any of his investment. I really hope a change of scenery gets Laquon back on track, and I’m sure on some level he’s glad to move on from Minnesota. Fans are rightfully disappointed in Treadwell and Spielman, but he wasn’t the only first-round bust from the 2016 draft. Wide receiver Josh Doctson, who many fans think the Vikings should have traded up for, was also cut by Washington on Saturday. I’m not saying Spielman made a great pick, but he wasn’t the only one to reach in that draft.
In yet another attempt to solve the Vikings kicking woes, Rick Spielman recently sent a future fifth-round draft pick to Baltimore to acquire Kaare Vedvik. The dual-purpose punter/kicker was very intriguing, but Vedvik had the yips by his first preseason game in purple, and he only slightly improved in the next game. A few missed kicks was all it took for Spielman to pull the plug on the Norwegian prospect, and I’m sure he’s kicking himself for using a fifth-rounder on Kaare. I think it was too early to admit defeat, but I’ll trust Spielman on this one. Despite missing many of his kicks, Vedvik seemed overly confident in front of reporters. Maybe Spielman didn’t want that attitude in the locker room.
P.S., Slick Rick has already signed a new punter and added a rookie kicker to the practice squad since cutting Vedvik. Will this debacle ever end?
Many other football players saw their time in purple come to a close, and we wish them the best of luck elsewhere in the NFL. Hopefully, the Vikings made the right call with these higher-profile players, and we’ll find out in about six months if they put together a championship roster.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) August 31, 2019