Vikings Latest Roster Move Indicates an Incoming Acquisition

NFC Rivals Could Play Spoiler to Ideal Vikings Draft Scenario
Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah the team's year-end press conference for the 2022 season after losing to the New York Giants in the playoffs.

Tuesday is the final cutdown day, and the deadline to get under the roster limit of 53 players is 3 p.m. Over 1,000 players lose their jobs leaguewide, and teams must make tough decisions. It is a busy day for Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, the front office, and the coaching staff.

Vikings Latest Roster Move Indicates an Incoming Acquisition

Minnesota parted ways with a cornerback. Joejuan Williams was released, according to Tom Pelissero.

Latest Vikings Roster Move Indicates A New Acquisition
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Williams was a veteran addition shortly before the draft after most free agents had already found a home. In the offseason workouts, Williams ran with the first-team defense because he was familiar with the scheme from his time in New England, but rookie Mekhi Blackmon quickly usurped him.

It was already Williams’ second chance after he couldn’t stick around with the Patriots, the team that drafted him in the second round in 2019. The 25-year-old was the most experienced cornerback in the room not named Byron Murphy, and his release came as a surprise.

The remaining cornerbacks on the roster are scary — not for the opponents, but for Vikings fans. The aforementioned top guy, Murphy, is an experienced and talented player and has shown flashes of excellence in training camp.

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But behind him, the Vikings CBs are a disaster, with rookie Blackmon expected to start in the slot and sophomore Akayleb Evans on the outside. Both players possess some talent, but going into the season with those two guys in huge roles is still a risk.

Even worse is the depth behind the duo, with Andrew Booth, Jaylin Williams, and NaJee Thompson as the only three remaining players. C.J. Coldon, Tay Gowan, and Kalon Barnes were released on Monday.

Booth, the 2022 second-round pick, has been a mixed bag in the preseason. His talent shows every now and then, but he is way too inconsistent to see the field anytime soon. Jaylin Williams is an undrafted rookie who caught an interception in the first preseason game, but like Booth, if he is on the field, the defense is in trouble. NaJee Thomspon is an elite special teamer without much defensive value. It remains to be seen if the two rookies stay on the team.

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The lack of depth indicates a new acquisition to improve the defensive backroom, and a few of them have been released. DeMeco Ryans, the new head coach of the Houston Texans, released the veteran cornerback Desmond King, and he could be an interesting upgrade with the versatility to play inside and outside.

The same can be said about Bradley Roby, who was let go by the New Orleans Saints. More players could hit the waiver wire around the league, and Adofo-Mensah has shown an affinity for fixing problems and filling roster spots by trading for a player.

At the same time last season, he traded for Ross Blacklock to compensate for the release of Armon Watts, and a similar situation could happen this time. The Vikings need at least someone to be a reliable option to take over for the young guys if they struggle and provide depth in case of injury, and the best-case scenario would be the acquisition of an upgrade.

The jury is still out on what Adofo-Mensah will do, but it is unlikely that the Vikes will go into a season with six cornerbacks, two undrafted rookies and three unproven.

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