Vikings Make 1st Roster Move in a Month

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The last time the Minnesota Vikings conducted any roster business was March 20th, adding free-agent defenders Jihad Ward and Kamu Grugier-Hill.

Vikings Make 1st Roster Move in a Month

The hiatus concluded Thursday when Minnesota waived offensive tackle Coy Cronk with a non-football injury designation. Details of the injury were not shared.

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Anytime Minnesota announces a roster move, fans speculate that an accompanying transaction could be on the way. That is, a theory that the club is clearing a space for an incoming player. But the Vikings’ roster can expand to 90 players, especially with the draft six days away, so the Cronk waiver shouldn’t be interpreted as much of anything.

On the other hand, the purple team will need more offensive line depth, either from the draft, undrafted free agency, or regular free agency. At the moment, Christian Darrisaw, Brian O’Neill, and David Quessenberry are the only tackles on the roster. Usually, heading into spring and summer, an NFL team will employ 5-7 offensive tackles.

Jacksonville Jaguars offensive lineman Coy Cronk (64) drills with Jacksonville Jaguars offensive lineman Jared Hocker (70) as offensive line coach Phil Rauscher looks on during day 4 of the Jaguars Training Camp Thursday, July 28, 2022, at the Knight Sports Complex at Episcopal School of Jacksonville. © Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Cronk’s exit could indicate that Minnesota will draft an offensive lineman in the later rounds next week or scour the undrafted wire for an OT commodity. No matter what, more OT bodies will be on the way.

Cronk, an Indiana native, joined the NFL in 2021 as an undrafted free agent with the Green Bay Packers. He didn’t make it through the summer to Green Bay’s 2021 active roster, released during summer trimdowns three years ago.

Cronk then joined the Jacksonville Jaguars in October 2021, staying until August 2023. The Vikings scooped Cronk last November and actually re-signed the man three months ago to a futures deal.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah & Kevin O’Connell Talk Free Agent Moves, Future at Quarterback & 2023 NFL Draft in Eagan, Minnesota, on April 13th, 2023. Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell joined the organization in January and February 2022, respectively.

Before turning pro three years ago, Cronk spent three seasons at the University of Indiana from 2016 to 2018 and transferred to the University of Iowa for the 2020 collegiate campaign. He was a teammate of Sam LaPorta and Ihmir Smith-Marsette during his final season as a Hawkeye before making the jump to the NFL.

Offensive tackle isn’t considered a grave roster need among Vikings fans, chiefly because the aforementioned Darrisaw and O’Neill hold down the edges of the offensive line. In that vein, losing Cronk to waiver isn’t grim.

Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Coy Cronk (64) stretches Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023 at Miller Electric Center at EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla. Today marked the first padded practice. © Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Nevertheless, Minnesota holds nine draft picks heading into next week, and the later rounds may be used to pluck a Cronk replacement.

Cronk turned 26 in January.

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 MIN 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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