NFL Minnesota Vikings

Five Minnesota Vikings Veterans Who Deserve To Be Cut

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Five Minnesota Vikings Veterans Who Could Be Cut

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings have had a busy offseason as they look to build on last season’s success. Wide receiver Percy Harvin was traded to the Seattle Seahawks for multiple draft picks in March, and Greg Jennings was signed in free agency to replace him as the team’s No. 1 wide receiver.

Then general manager Rick Spielman made a bold move late in the first round of April’s draft, trading a couple of later picks to the New England Patriots for the 29th overall pick. Minnesota used that pick on another wide receiver in Cordarrelle Patterson, who could also fill Harvin’s vacated role as a return man.

The Vikings added a proven backup quarterback via free agency in Matt Cassel, who will provide a viable replacement should starter Christian Ponder struggle or be injured enough to miss a game, the latter of which happened for the team’s playoff loss to the rival Green Bay Packers last year. Former backup signal caller Joe Webb has been moved to wide receiver, where he will compete for a roster spot.

The Vikings have plenty of mainstays at the top of their roster that are in no danger in being cut, but the competition for some specific roles and spots further down the roster has a chance to be intense with plenty of players in the mix.

One notable veteran has already been released by Minnesota this offseason, as punter Chris Kluwe was let go and has since signed with the Oakland Raiders.

With their second set of OTA practices going this week and a mandatory minicamp coming next week, here are five more veterans I think will be cut between now and the start of the season.

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5. OG Brandon Fusco

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The Vikings drafted some potential competition for Fusco (Jeff Baca, Travis Bond) in April, and without any signs during the preseason that he can raise his level of play he may not be at right guard in Week 1.

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4. LB Larry Dean

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The Vikings added a couple linebackers in April's draft (Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti), so Dean may simply fall victim to a numbers game at the position despite being a core special teamer last season.

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3. TE John Carlson

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Carlson missed the entire 2011 season with a shoulder injury, but the Vikings still signed him to a five-year, $25 million deal in March of 2012. A knee injury caused him to miss the entire preseason last season, and he never really got on track with eight receptions for 43 yards in 14 games. The team restructured Carlson’s contract this offseason, converting some of his base salary for 2013 into a roster bonus and incentives, but I still think he could be among the final training camp cuts if he struggles to stay healthy again.

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2. CB Marcus Sherels

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Sherels contributed as a return man in 2012, but he looked in over his head when needed to take on a greater defensive role and may see his role reduced all the way around if he loses his return duties. The offseason signing of cornerback Jacob Lacey puts Sherels firmly on the roster bubble during training camp.

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1. WR Stephen Burton

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Burton contributed virtually nothing on the stat sheet when the Vikings were looking for playmakers at wide receiver, and the additions of Jennings and Patterson now bump him even further down the pecking order. He may be able to stick on the practice squad, but it would be surprising to see Burton in uniform for the Vikings or any team come Week 1.