According the Star Tribune, the following players were informed on Friday they would be released or waived: RB Ciatrick Fason, WRs Billy McMullen and Cortez Hankton, TEs Richard Owens and Stephen Spach, OT Jimmy Martin, Cs Norm Katnik and Kyle Cook, NT Howard Green, LB George Hall and FS Patrick Body.
While none of these anticipated moves represents a major shock, it would seem to indicate a few things.
Fason will likely get a look somewhere else, but the four guys ahead of him were clearly better. He didn’t offer anything unique and wasn’t much of a contributor on special teams.
The departure of McMullen and Hankton indicates the confidence the coaches have in the young prospects in the mix.
Owens is a good special teams player, but the versatility of Jeff Dugan and the addition of Visanthe Shiancoe obviously nudged him out of the picture.
Spach had a solid training camp but just couldn’t overcome the numbers game at tight end.
Releasing a veteran like Green says the team is sold on Frederick Evans and his ability to contribute. Evans has shown a lot of good things in limited action during the past two preseason games and is clearly a player. It also could indicate that the Vikings are confident he will not face a league-imposed suspension to start the season after resolving his legal issues.
Martin and Cook weren’t a surprise, but releasing Katnik leaves them without a backup center, at least on paper. However, Anthony Herrera has spent some time there in the past, and so has right tackle Kyle Cook.
Hall was primarily a camp player who gave the team some solid reps in training camp and during garbage time in the preseason.
Body might have had a legitimate chance if the team hadn’t been so deep at the safety position already.
The Vikings are expected to announce all their roster moves on Saturday, so stay tuned.