Vikings release DT Ayodele

Remi Ayodele (Hannah Foslien/Getty)

The Vikings confirmed the release of defensive tackle Remi Ayodele on Wednesday. Ayodele signed a three-year, $9 million contract last year, but never fit the Vikings' scheme.

The Vikings released defensive tackle Remi Ayodele on Wednesday.

The move isn't a big surprise given the lack of production and snaps for Ayodele and the Vikings signing two of their own defensive tackles – Letroy Guion and Fred Evans – in free agency.

Guion signed a three-year, $9 million deal at the start of free agency, which is very similar to the deal that Ayodele signed last year to be the team's replacement for former starting nose tackle Pat Williams.

Ayodele was signed by the Vikings shortly after the lockout ended last year, inking a three-year, $9 million deal that called for a $3.565 million signing bonus. The Vikings just paid out the $750,000 deferred portion of that signing bonus on March 15.

In addition to being scheduled to make $2.2 million in base salaries for each of the two remaining years on his contract, he was scheduled for a $250,000 roster bonus in 2013 and $50,000 workout bonuses each in 2012 and 2013.

The move is expected to save the Vikings about $1 million under the salary cap this year.

Despite starting 13 of the 16 games he played in last year, Ayodele played in only 23.57 percent of the team's defensive snaps. Meanwhile, Guoin, listed as a backup during the 2011 season, played in 45.35 percent of the snaps, and Evans played in 27.51 percent – meaning each of the two veteran backups actually played more snaps than the starting nose tackle. Under tackle Kevin Williams played in 77.09 percent of the snaps, despite missing the first two games of 2011 due to a suspension.

Ayodele finished the season with only 22 tackles, 18th on the team.

Remi Ayodele celebrates a hit on Brett Favre in the 2009 NFC Championship Game.
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

He was also part of the New Orleans Saints team in 2009 that beat the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game and won the Super Bowl but was since found to have violated the NFL's "bounty" rule -- paying players to injure opponents. Former Vikings quarterback Brett Favre was listed as one of the targets of a bounty in the NFL's investigation of the Saints, and Ayodele was the "high" part of a high-low hit on Favre in the NFC Championship that injured his ankle and caused him to hobble to the sidelines for treatment. Favre returned to the game, but the league handed out a $500,000 fine to the Saints and suspensions to head coach Sean Payton, assistant head coach Joe Vitt, general manager Mickey Loomis and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams on Wednesday.

The league also said discipline for players involved in the "Bountygate" scandal is still pending. Although Ayodele could be among those disciplined, indications are that the Vikings were planning to move on without Ayodele before the league's announcement on Wednesday.

Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here. Recommended Stories