Vikings Say Goodbye to 15 Players

Aug 26, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Jaren Hall (16) hands the ball off to running back Abram Smith (41) against the Arizona Cardinals during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell have a hard task leading up to the deadline on Tuesday at 3 p.m. when rosters must be reduced to 53 players. Telling players that they will be released is perhaps the hardest part of their jobs because they might shatter the dreams of those athletes.

Vikings Say Goodbye to 15 Players

say goodbye
Sep 30, 2022; Thundridge, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings center Josh Sokol (60) during practice at Hanbury Manor. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

O’Connell was in that exact same situation, and it was even filmed by the Hard Knocks crew when he was released by the New York Jets. He is now on the other side and released 15 players, 12 in addition to the three — Jarrid Williams, Tanner Vallejo, Wilson Huber — reported on Sunday. Here is the full list:

  • Calvin Avery
  • Kalon Barnes
  • C.J. Coldon
  • Christian DiLauro
  • Jameson Houston
  • Wilson Huber
  • Garett Maag
  • Josh Sokol
  • Jordan Ta’amu
  • Colin Thompson
  • Jarrid Williams
  • Jake Gervase
  • Tanner Vallejo
  • Tay Gowan

The first 12 players were waived and will enter the waiver process. Every team can submit a waiver claim, and the organization with the highest waiver priority will be awarded the player. If no team claims the players, they move on to be unrestricted free agents.

Nov 27, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Los Angeles Rams linebacker Jake Gervase (43) warms up prior to a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports.

Jake Gervase and Tanner Vallejo had their contracts terminated, so they are unrestricted free agents right away. That is because the two defenders and special teams aces have been in the league for more than four seasons and count as vested veterans.

Tay Gowan was waived with an injury designation. He will undergo the same waiver process as the other 12 players, but if he doesn’t get claimed, he will revert to the Vikings and land on injured reserve.

None of the names is truly shocking, although some of them had a strong training camp and preseason and had a chance to make the team.

Josh Sokol apparently was not good enough to stick around on the shaky interior offensive line after the team moved the college center to guard earlier in the year. Still, his versatility to play at all three interior positions perhaps helps him to land on Minnesota’s practice squad.

Tight end Colin Thompson is primarily a special teams player and was signed during training camp. However, he put a strong preseason on tape, provided excellent blocking, and added three catches for 33 yards to the stat sheet.

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Racey McMath (13) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings safety Jay Ward (20) and cornerback Kalon Barnes (27) at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023.

Quarterback Jordan Ta’amu was signed to play in the final preseason game, but the Vikings decided against it to keep Jaren Hall in the game to give him some more reps. That is unfortunate for the XFL Offensive Player of the Year, who didn’t get a chance to show his skills.

Defensive tackle Calvin Avery was the heaviest Vikings player at listed 343 lbs, while cornerback Kalon Barnes ran a 4.23 40-yard dash at the combine, the fastest among all active NFL players.

The Vikings must make many additional moves to get under 53 players by Tuesday.

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