5 Surprising Vikings Who Could Be Cut This Summer
The honeymoon phase for the 2022 Minnesota Vikings is still in effect — aside from a couple of polemic draft trades — as Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell guide the ship as first-time leaders to September.
The Vikings added new players in free agency, mostly defenders, and welcomed an impressive draft class — again, primarily defensive players.
The roster has 90 men at the moment, but that will whittle down to 53 in less than four months. And because the trim of 37 is inevitable, some surprising names will grace the cut list.
Consider the following men surprising possible roster cuts. Not all of these players will vamoose — perhaps all of them stay. Yet, based on relatively low dead-cap hits (sans one name), the following six players may not be a part of the 2022 Vikings roster.
The order is alphabetical, not the likelihood of release.
Garrett Bradbury (C)
Dead Cap Hit = $4.09 Million
The Vikings new brass insist they can squeeze the goodness out of Bradbury. We shall see. That fodder could also be coach-speak for “he’s gone when we find someone better.”
That someone better could reasonably Ed Ingram, who was drafted in April from LSU. He’s a 2nd-Round talent and will see the field soon accordingly. Too, Minnesota could also sign JC Tretter, a free agent linked to Vikings rumors for two months.
Both options, on paper, are better than Bradbury. And that isn’t a humongous claim to fame.
Bradbury would be the largest cap hit on the books from this list, chiefly because of his 1st-Round draft stock.
Wyatt Davis (OL)
Dead Cap Hit = $684 Thousand
Former boss general manager Rick Spielman allegedly went rogue when selecting Davis from the 3rd Round of the 2021 NFL Draft. That theory checks out as the coaching staff refused to play the man last year.
Davis was fantastic at Ohio State for a prolonged period, but he is now a mysterious unicorn on the Vikings depth chart. Nobody knows if he’s startable. Mike Zimmer’s pals didn’t think so.
If Zimmer was right, Davis would easily be waived this summer.
C.J. Ham (FB)
Dead Cap Hit = $1.5 Million
This one would sock you in the gut, we know.
Here’s the deal. The 2021 Los Angeles Rams didn’t use fullbacks. Kevin O’Connell came to the Vikings from that Rams organization. Will O’Connell carve out a spot for Ham, a marvelous pass-catching fullback? Maybe.
But maybe not. Ham is beloved in these parts, so his exodus would cause dismay from fans. However, if an offense-first brain in O’Connell doesn’t utilize fullbacks like Zimmer’s crew did, Ham isn’t necessary.
This one is a longshot because Ham is productive, but keep it on your radar.
Greg Joseph (K)
Dead Cap Hit = $0.00
Minnesota unexpectedly signed Oklahoma kicker Gabe Brkic last week.
Sweat should be accumulating on the brow of Greg Joseph. Brkic offers youthful promise — a theme for the Vikings this offseason — and he was inked to a three-year deal.
Vikings fans, for the most part, enjoy Joseph, as his journey last year was redemptive. But Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s acquisition of Brkic is a “shots fired” moment on the future of the Vikings placekicking plans.
Brkic could reasonably be “the guy” this autumn with Joseph as the odd man out.
Alexander Mattison (RB)
Dead Cap Hit = $205 Thousand
Let’s get this out in the open — Mattison is quite good filling in for Dalvin Cook. He’s called upon for RB1 duty at least three times per year with Cook’s injury habits.
On the other hand, the Vikings employ Cook, Mattison, Kene Nwangwu, Ty Chandler, A.J. Rose, C.J. Ham, and Jake Bargas. They can’t keep all of these RBs and FBs in September.
Like Ham departing, Mattison’s release is unlikely because he isn’t expensive. But if the Vikings new coaching staff would rather utilize Chandler, a rookie, as RB2, Mattison would jettison.
Chris Reed (OG)
Dead Cap Hit = $500 Thousand
It feels like an alternate reality watching the Vikings sign so many guards to fix the RG problem. Reed is one of the possible solutions.
Reed was signed before the team drafted Ed Ingram. O’Connell will have a five-way battle at RG between Wyatt Davis, Jesse Davis, Ed Ingram, Oli Udoh, and Chris Reed in a couple of months. All five of those linemen are unlikely to make the 2022 roster.
Yes, Reed is new. But if three or four of the men on the list above are better at training camp, Reed can be released with little financial pain.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).