Vikings Release Myles Gaskin — But There’s a Catch

Gaskin Is an Interesting
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The Minnesota Vikings are scheduled to open their season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. After finishing last year’s campaign with a strong 13-4 record, most folks expect the team to decline in 2023, partly because there was some luck involved in winning some of those games, and the departure of key players also played a role in the general assessment of the Vikings.

Vikings Release Myles Gaskin — But There’s a Catch

One of those departed guys is Dalvin Cook. The star running back will no longer wear purple but New York Jets green. He had been the leading running back since he was drafted in 2017. For the first time in roughly one-and-a-half decades, it will neither be Adrian Peterson nor Cook to have the lead role.

Vikings Release Myles Gaskin -- But There's a Catch
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Alexander Mattison is the new top rusher, followed by backup Ty Chandler. Veteran Myles Gaskin was added to the group after cutdown day to replace Kene Nwanwgu, who was placed on IR with a back injury.

To the surprise of most, Gaskin was released on Friday leading up to the game, but he will stay with the franchise. The Athletic’s Alec Lewis reported on X: “The Vikings have released RB Myles Gaskin, but it’s a procedural move, and he’ll be placed on the practice squad tomorrow as well as be elevated to the roster for Sunday.”

A confusing move for a player who had just signed last week, but the Vikings don’t just make moves like that for fun, there is a reason.

Jason Fitzgerald, the founder of Over The Cap, opined on the move and provided some clarity: “Yep. Usually, this is a way to avoid the salary from being guaranteed by being on the roster for week 1.”

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The salary cap expert added: “Often you will see NFL teams release lower-cost veterans today or tomorrow to avoid having their salaries become guaranteed for the year. Vets on the 53 man on Sunday have their salary guaranteed for the year. Those who sign after this week only get a portion (35%) guaranteed.”

Some contracts in the NFL start to be fully guaranteed if a player is on the roster in Week 1. That might become relevant a few weeks from now. What if Nwangwu returns from his brief absence? Well, the Vikes might opt to cut ties with Gaskin because they are happy with the three backs, which would save some salary cap space but also some money.

Chart before Final Preseason
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Gaskin should not be expected to play a large role in the offense as Mattison and Chandler appear to be the top guys, although he has shown to be a decent pass-catcher out of the backfield,d and his experience could also be a factor.

The 26-year-old spent four seasons with the Miami Dolphins and rushed 361 times for 1,355 yards and 7 scores. He also added 101 receptions for 701 yards and 6 more touchdowns.

Expect Gaskin to suit up on Sunday and provide the necessary depth at one of the most injury-prone positions in the sport.

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