Cardinals Sign Ex-Vikings Defender for Game in Minnesota

Cardinals Try Out
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings faced the Seattle Seahawks in their first preseason contest and then the Tennessee Titans in their second game after a couple of joint practice sessions. The same is scheduled with the Arizona Cardinals on Wednesday and Thursday with practices followed by a game on Saturday.

Cardinals Sign Ex-Vikings Defender for Game in Minnesota

Just in time for those three dates, the Cardinals signed former Vikings pass rusher Zach McCloud on Tuesday according to KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson on the X App.

Cardinals Sign Ex-Vikings Defender for Game in Minnesota
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

McCloud was an undrafted rookie last season and he signed with the Vikings. Only quarterback Carson Strong received more guaranteed money on his UDFA deal in 2022. He was a ballyhooed prospect but fell in the draft because of size concerns at only 6’2″ and 235 lbs. Interestingly, the Vikes signed Ivan Pace this year who fell for comparable reasons.

But while Pace is expected to play a role with the Vikings, McCloud was cut when the front office had to trim the roster to 53 players. Fellow undrafted rookie Luiji Vilain made the team after beating out McCloud.

Throughout six college seasons, McCloud played in 59 games at Miami, recording 22.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, and 192 tackles. His strengths in college were athleticism, physical toughness, and long arms but his defense in the running games left a lot to be desired.

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The second-year player spent time with the Broncos and the Titans. Tennessee waived him last week but now he will get a fresh start with a new team and will meet the Vikings in the preseason and in joint practices.

Making the roster for players signed this late in the process is a tough task but he also has a chance to show the team enough to earn a spot on the practice squad.

The Cardinals employ a plethora of edge rushers:

  • Zaven Collins
  • Dennis Gardeck
  • Victor Dimukeje
  • Cameron Thomas
  • Myjai Sanders
  • BJ Ojulari
  • Jesse Luketa
  • David Anenih
  • Zach McCloud

In Arizona, McCloud will meet a bunch of former Vikings. During this year’s free agency, the Cardinals added Kris Boyd, a fan favorite in Minnesota. Most notably on the field, he was an excellent special teams player in addition to his status as a depth cornerback. He shares a meeting room with Nate Hairston who was one of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s free agent signings in 2022. CB Hairston has ties with Ed Donatell but failed to make the team.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

At quarterback, the Cardinals employ David Blough who was with the purple team on the practice squad to start last season and ended up starting a couple of games for the Cardinals after Kyler Murray and his backups went down with injuries. He helped T.J. Hockenson prepare for his first game after Minnesota pulled off the trade. The two played together in Detroit for a few seasons.

And then there is Pat Elflein who started in Minnesota from 2017 to 2019 and one in 2020 before he was waived. The former third-round selection had stints with the Jets and Panthers in the last three seasons.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt