The Minnesota Vikings got some bad news early this week when fullback Jerome Felton was suspended for the first three games of the season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Felton had a Pro Bowl season in 2012 as Adrian Peterson’s lead blocker, helping propel the league’s best running back to a near record-setting season.
The Vikings do have a potential short-term replacement for Felton in Rhett Ellison, who is technically a tight end but has drawn praise for his work as a blocker. Should the Vikings look to add a veteran fullback? Or, most importantly, is there one available?
Michael Robinson has missed a significant chunk of time this preseason with an illness, and with a potential replacement drafted in April (Spencer Ware) along with the fact he was slated to make $2.5 million this season, the Seattle Seahawks released him on Friday.
Robinson has been an NFL success story, making the transition from college quarterback to play seven seasons (up to this point) as a fullback and special teamer for the Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers. At age 30 his career is unlikely to be over, but only a few teams may see his potential value.
The Vikings should be one of the teams that at least has a passing interest in Robinson, since their offense is clearly centered around Peterson and the running game. But they made a significant financial investment in Felton this offseason, signing him to a three-year, $7.5 million deal in March, and Robinson’s age does not fit with the overall profile of the roster that general manager Rick Spielman has built. Robinson may also be seeking a more permanent situation with a new team, and Minnesota only has an obvious need for the first three games of the regular season.
The nature of Robinson’s preseason illness has not been revealed, but as long as it is not severe enough to hamper him long-term I expect him to find a landing spot in the near future.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.