Vikings Drop Young Wide Receiver

Vikings Tight End Hits IR
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The Minnesota Vikings tweaked their roster on Monday, with the regular season less than 12 weeks away.

Vikings Drop Young Wide Receiver

The club had 13 wide receivers on the depth chart entering the week but trimmed the total to 12 with the waiver of undrafted free agent Devron Harper. Cardinals Wire’s Howard Balzer tweeted, “Vikings waived UDFA WR Devron Harper. His contract included $15K guaranteed: $5K signing bonus and $10K base salary guarantee.”

Alabama defensive back Kool-Aid McKinstry (1) closes to make a tackle on Mercer wide receiver Devron Harper (1) Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, in Bryant-Denny Stadium. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.] Alabama Vs Mercer. © Gary Cosby via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

Harper will hit the open market and be free to sign anywhere in the NFL after the brief stint in Minnesota. He joined the purple team right after the NFL draft in April, making his stay around seven weeks.

In return, with the open roster spot, the Vikings added defensive tackle Jalen Redmond (as Aaron Wilson notes), a defender who performed wonderfully in the UFL this spring. Redmond will vie for a 53-man roster spot at training camp and in the preseason, though the DT position is unusually crowded at the moment.

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Without Harper, this is Minnesota’s WR room, with training camp about five weeks away:

WR1: Justin Jefferson
WR2: Jordan Addison
WR3: Brandon Powell
WR4: Trent Sherfield
WR5: Jalen Nailor
WR6: Lucky Jackson
WR7: Malik Knowles
WR8: Thayer Thomas
WR9: Trishton Jackson
WR10: N’Keal Harry
WR11: Ty James
WR12: Jeshaun Jones

N’Keal Harry may be en route to changing position to tight end, as rumblings from last week’s minicamp claimed the Vikings might audition him at the spot. If so, the WR section of the depth chart would dwindle to 11 men. When the regular season roster is finalized, about five wideouts will make the cut.

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In April, Mercer Bears’ Todd Anderson wrote about Harper and his addition to Minnesota’s roster: “A product of Conyers, Ga., Harper wrapped up his collegiate playing career with 14 school single-game, single-season, and career records. A two-time All-Southern Conference pick, he earned all-American honors from multiple organizations at both wide receiver and return specialist following his senior campaign in 2023.”

If the Vikings’ front office wishes to make any more roster moves besides the Harper waiver and Redmond signing, it has ample cap space, roughly $26 million as of June 18th, also known as the ninth-most in the NFL. The New England Patriots lead the way at $46 million, and the Baltimore Ravens check in last around $6 million.

Offseason Is Different
Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah at the 2023 NFL Combine the Week of February 27th. The Vikings have the 23rd overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Harper turned 24 last month and will hope to latch onto another summer roster before too long.

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).

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