Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Goodbye to familiar faces?

The draft is over, the schedule is releasing, and every day we inch closer to the beginning of the season.  And while there’s excitement for the new players brought in over the off-season, the elephant in the room nobody is talking about is patiently waiting…who doesn’t make the team this year? 

Eventually this roster will be trimmed to 53 players, some of whom we already know. Players who have been on the roster for years, started week-in and week-out, know they have a job secured for the upcoming season. But who are some guys who have been around and might not make it going forward? Let’s take a look.

Greg Joseph

You don’t draft a replacement player if you like the one you have (read that again, Packers management). It’s weird because I didn’t mind Joseph. While he bounced around the league some, playing for Cleveland and Tennessee before coming to Minnesota, he’s had a 86.6% hit rate with the Vikings. Only missing 5 FG’s (2 from 50+, 2 from 40+, 1 from 30+) and 4 XP’s, I think Joseph was a serviceable kicker for us after years of inconsistency. It never seemed like Joseph was the one to blame throughout the year. 

CJ Ham

This one hurts to type, as Ham is beloved within the Minnesota community. He’s also a excellent player (Pro Bowl in 2019) which doesn’t hurt. The problem here is the offense that HC Kevin O’Connell brings to Minnesota. The LA Rams didn’t use a fullback in their Super Bowl winning season, so it’s hard to imagine one being implemented in the replica system he brings to Minnesota. Ham signed a 4 year, $12,000,000 contract with the Minnesota Vikings, including a $3,000,000 signing bonus, $5,000,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $3,000,000. While not a lot in the big picture, it’s a lot to pay somebody you don’t envision utilizing their talents. 

Garrett Bradbury

This one should be less of a surprise for all fans. While Bradbury should be a systemic fit in O’Connell’s new offense, he’s mediocre at best. Failing to receive higher than a 45.0 pass-blocking grade in any season, it’s not a shock why the Vikings declined to pick hip his 5th year option for a casual $13 million. And even though Minnesota didn’t draft a center in this years draft, that doesn’t mean they won’t look to upgrade before the season starts. Former Browns center, JC Tretter, is still available. You’d think he’d be somebody of concern for the Vikings, given Kwesi’s time in Cleveland and Tretter’s success within the league. JC would be an immediate upgrade at the position and for the entire offense. If our leaders don’t pursue Tretter or a different option, then here’s to hoping O’Connell’s system can hide Bradbury’s faults. 

Time will tell who makes the final roster and which of these familiar faces will still don the Vikings jersey in the upcoming season. 

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