The One Big Surprise from Vikings 1st Wave of Roster Cuts

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The Minnesota Vikings cut ties with 12 players Monday morning, preparing for the NFL’s roster cut deadline Tuesday at 3:00 pm CST.

The One Big Surprise from Vikings 1st Wave of Roster Cuts

These players have been waived, released, or traded in recent days:

  • Calvin Avery (DT)
  • Kalon Barnes (CB)
  • Jacky Chen (OT)
  • C.J. Coldon (CB)
  • Christian DiLauro (OT)
  • Jake Gervase (S)
  • Tay Gowan (CB)
  • Wilson Huber (LB)
  • N’Keal Harry (WR)
  • Jameson Houston (CB)
  • Wilson Huber (ILB)
  • Vederian Lowe (OT) | Trade
  • Garett Maag (WR)
  • Chim Okorafor (OT)
  • Jack Podlesny (K)
  • Abram Smith (RB)
  • Josh Sokol (C)
  • Jordan Ta’amu (QB)
  • Colin Thompson (TE)
  • Tanner Vallejo (LB)
  • Curtis Weaver (OLB)
  • Jarrid Williams (OT)
1st Wave of Roster
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No individual move from the list above is too groundbreaking, but the combination drop of OTs Jarrid Williams and Christian DiLauro is head-scratching. The big takeaway from cuts and a trade in the last 24 hours is offensive tackle depth.

When Minnesota released its first depth chart three weeks ago, OT Blake Brandel was moved to guard. The move was a surprise, but operations carried on. However, the Vikings traded OT Vederian Lowe to the New New England Patriots on Sunday night and then dropped Christian DiLauro on Monday morning. Williams was cut on Sunday afternoon.

Vikings re-sign free agent
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If Brandel stays at guard, the Vikings have three OTs heading into the 2023 season, with none slated for the practice squad (as of now), which is odd. It’s the Christian Darrisaw, Brian O’Neill, and Oli Udoh show.

Moreover, free agency for offensive tackles is slim pickings at this point on the NFL calendar. Most have been scooped since March. Minnesota will evidently convert Brandel back to OT, do nothing and roster only three OTs, or something more elaborate is afoot.

Reinforcements Hit the
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The Vikings ventured into the 2022 season with four tackles, a standard amount for many NFL teams. Three is skinny. None on the practice squad (after the releases of Williams + DiLauro, plus the Lowe trade) is even weirder.

Ergo, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will likely either sign an OT sometime this week when teams finalize 53-man rosters and the free-agent pool expands or pull off Vikings fans’ request to sign OG Dalton Risner.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports.

Risner isn’t a tackle he’s a guard through and through but he’d allow the aforementioned Brandel to slide back to tackle. Adding him would make sense after offloading three tackles in 18 hours.

Something’s gotta give. Only three OTs on a regular season roster is peculiar.

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 Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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