Breaking down the Vikings' 53-man roster ... for now
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The waiver process won't be complete until Sunday, and the makeup of the roster -- which includes four receivers, four tight ends, only three healthy cornerbacks and 10 defensive linemen following Saturday's cuts -- suggests there are more moves to come for the Minnesota Vikings.
For now, though, here's how the Vikings' 53-man roster breaks down:
Quick take: There really was no decision to make here after Friday's trade of Sage Rosenfels to the New York Giants. Jackson will be Favre's top backup and Webb will push for situational action while he develops with the scout team.
Running backs (4)
Reserve/PUP: Sidney Rice.
Quick take: Cutting Walker counts as a mild surprise. He had been productive in the preseason but remained rusty, and his injury history surely was a consideration -- if he were on the roster in Week 1, his salary would become guaranteed. Instead, the Vikings will proceed with four receivers for now and could be pursuing someone on the street or waivers. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, cut by Seattle on Saturday, is one decent possibility. Brown and/or Payne may return on the practice squad. Rice (hip surgery) will miss at least six weeks and doesn't count against the 53-man limit.
Tight ends (4)
Out: Garrett Mills.
Quick take: Mills had plenty of chances, but injuries helped limit him to nine games over three seasons with the Vikings. Rookie seventh-round pick Shuler was a third-stringer throughout the preseason, but the Vikings apparently think he has enough potential to not expose him to waivers -- at least not right away. Another cut is possible here if the Vikings make a waiver claim at another position.
Offensive linemen (8)
Quick take: The decision to keep Cook and cut Brown left the Vikings with no backups on the roster who have taken reps at tackle during the preseason. DeGeare and Cook also have background outside, but the Vikings have to be keeping their eyes open for an experienced backup tackle. One or two of the players cut probably will be back on the practice squad.
Defensive linemen (10)
Quick take: The Vikings kept intact one of the deepest groups in the NFL. The only real question was Griffen, the fourth-round pick who didn't do much in camp or the preseason but has too much pass-rushing talent to let go. If the Vikings still target a player-for-player trade, this is the most likely group from which to draw. Johnson is a good bet for the practice squad.
Out: Nate Triplett.
Quick take: Brinkley and Henderson are the top backups inside and outside, respectively, and Farwell and Onatolu are productive special-teamers. Triplett, a fifth-round selection, didn't flash until the preseason finale and was one of only two draft picks waived. He's a lock for the practice squad if he clears waivers.
Defensive backs (10)
Quick take: The Vikings didn't announce it, but cutting 20 players indicated Griffin (knee reconstruction) has been activated from active/PUP. That would allow him to return to individual drills when practice resumes on Sunday, but he's surely at least a week or two away from returning to game action. With Cook (knee surgery) also sidelined, the Vikings have only three healthy cornerbacks and probably will move to acquire another in the coming days. One intriguing name released on Saturday was Tye Hill, who visited the Vikings in March before signing with Tennessee. For now, the Vikings kept five safeties again because Frampton is valuable on special teams.
Out: Rhys Lloyd.
Quick take: The Vikings admitted they wasted a $200,000 bonus when they signed Lloyd off the street in March. Longwell may have three games -- all in domes -- to prove a kickoff specialist isn't needed before the Vikings reevaluate the situation at the bye.