Minnesota Vikings: The Five Most Surprising Roster Cuts

By Brad Berreman

Minnesota Vikings: 5 Most Surprising Roster Cuts of 2014

Joe Banyard Minnesota Vikings
Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

As teams cut down to 53 players ahead of Week 1 over the weekend, a few notable names around the NFL are now in search of a new team. The biggest surprise for the Minnesota Vikings is someone they kept, as Christian Ponder will enter the season as the No. 3 quarterback.

Still, here are five players the Vikings surprisingly let go on Saturday.

5. S Chris Crocker

Chris Crocker
Andy Lyons-Getty Images

5. S Chris Crocker

Chris Crocker
Andy Lyons-Getty Images

Crocker seemed to be hand-picked by head coach Mike Zimmer as a potential starter at strong safety, and at the very least a veteran presence in a secondary that could use one. But familiarity with Zimmer's defensive scheme appears to have been trumped by advanced age (34) and an apparent decline in skills.

4. TE Allen Reisner

Allen Reisner Minnesota Vikings
Peter Aiken-Getty Images

4. TE Allen Reisner

Allen Reisner Minnesota Vikings
Peter Aiken-Getty Images

Reisner showed nice chemistry with rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater during the preseason, with a team-leading three touchdown receptions. But that was not enough for the Vikings to keep him around as their third tight end.

3. S Kurt Coleman

Kurt Coleman Minnesota Vikings
Hannah Foslien-Getty Images

3. S Kurt Coleman

Kurt Coleman Minnesota Vikings
Hannah Foslien-Getty Images

Coleman was competing for the starting job alongside Harrison Smith during training camp and early in the preseason. I'm surprised he was not at least kept around for depth and to contribute on special teams.

2. RB Joe Banyard

Joe Banyard Minnesota Vikings
Frederick Breedon-Getty Images

2. RB Joe Banyard

Joe Banyard Minnesota Vikings
Frederick Breedon-Getty Images

The Vikings kept Banyard on the practice squad, but I think he deserved better after leading the team in rushing during the preseason (212 yards).

1. DT Fred Evans

Fred Evans Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn- USA TODAY Sports

1. DT Fred Evans

Fred Evans Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn- USA TODAY Sports

Evans was tied for the third-longest tenured Viking, having played 94 games over the last seven seasons. But rookie Shamar Stephen played well enough in the preseason to win the job backing up Linval Joseph at nose tackle.

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