5 Theories for Vikings Open Roster Spot

Draft Plan Just Got
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The Minnesota Vikings waived cornerback John Reid on Wednesday, the team’s first roster transaction since releasing Dalvin Cook on June 9th.

Eighty-nine men now live on the roster (Junior Aho doesn’t count against the normal player limit, meaning there are a couple openings), so the club will presumably add a couple more players for the 90-man threshold heading into training camp, which kicks off Sunday.

5 Theories for Vikings Open Roster Spot

So, who will it be? Here are a few theories.

1. Dalton Risner (OG)

5 Theories for Vikings
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Chris Kuper is the Minnesota Vikings offensive line coach; Chris Kuper was Dalton Risner’s assistant offensive line coach in Denver for three seasons. That’s a tangible connection.

The Vikings ‘should be fine’ without an extra guard in 2023, but if they want to get richer — and hedge any bets against injury — signing Risner at an affordable price tag checks out. He’s an odd breed for Vikings fans, protecting quarterbacks markedly better than plowing running lanes. So, you know — yes, please.

2. Kyle Van Noy (LB)

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Minnesota will venture into Brian Flores’ first season as defensive coordinator with Jordan Hicks and Brian Asamoah on deck for starting off-ball linebacking duties.

Perhaps Flores can call his old pal Van Noy from the New England and Miami days to add depth. Van Noy is experienced and is the perfect fit for a somewhat limited linebacking room.

He’d even be less expensive than Risner.

3. A Different CB

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Ask any Vikings fans about the team’s weak spot on the current depth chart, and about 80%-90%, if not more, will respond cornerback.

Nobody really knows if Andrew Booth or Akayleb Evans are ready to make a bonafide leap as a starting corner, and the club didn’t re-sign Duke Shelley for cheap this offseason.

Ergo, replacing Reid with a different cornerback could be up general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s sleeve. Men like Marcus Peters, Eli Apple, and Anthony Brown are available on the open market.

4. Somebody Anonymous

Lottery Ticket QB
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Probably the most likely outcome, the Vikings might just sign a player no one has ever heard of — like a little-known tight end or defender.

This happens all the time, and that’s just the way it goes when a team is filling out a 90-man roster. We’d speculate on the person’s identity, but it could, quite frankly, be an undrafted free agent only known locally in some section of the country.

5. Dalvin Cook (RB)

Friendly to Dalvin
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Spend any time on Twitter after the Reid waiver, and you will find the conspiracy crowd spitballing, “Dalvin is on the way.”

Minnesota released Cook six weeks ago, and he hasn’t signed with a new team as of July 19th. He reportedly wanted $10 million per season, but general managers wouldn’t even pay that sum to Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, or Tony Pollard this week amid franchise-tag-related extension chats.

Cook won’t command $10 million per season. And as soon as he realizes it, he could theoretically rejoin the Vikings for about half that pricetag.


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).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.