The Vikings and every other NFL team had to make their first roster cuts by the Tuesday afternoon deadline, going from 90 players down to 85. They'll cut down to 80 next Tuesday, then go down to 53 on roster cutdown day (August 30th).
Here's the Vikings' first wave of cuts, announced by the team:
- CB Tye Smith
- FB Jake Bargas
- OLB Andre Mintze
- DT Tyarise Stevenson (waived/injured)
- WR Thomas Hennigan (waived/injured)
Because Smith is a vested veteran with at least four years of service time in the NFL, his contract is terminated and he immediately becomes a free agent. The other four are subject to waivers, meaning any team could claim them and take them on with their current contract.
If that doesn't happen, Bargas and Mintze will become free agents. Stevenson and Hennigan, because of the waived/injured designation, will revert to the Vikings' injured reserve if they aren't claimed. At that point, the Vikings can decide to either keep them around on IR or release them with an injury settlement.
Smith is the most notable player here. A 2015 fifth-round pick by the Seahawks, the 29-year-old has appeared in 45 career games (seven starts), mostly with the Titans. He spent most of last season on the Vikings' practice squad, appearing in five games. Clearly, the Vikings didn't view him as a candidate to make the roster at cornerback.
Bargas is also an interesting cut. The North Carolina product signed as a UDFA in 2020 and spent the last two seasons on the practice squad as the Vikings' backup fullback, appearing in two regular season games. Minnesota now has no fullback on the roster behind C.J. Ham.
Mintze figured to have a chance to stick around when the Vikings signed him in June. A 2021 UDFA out of Vanderbilt, he spent his rookie season with the Broncos and current Vikings defensive coordinator Ed Donatell. Despite that experience and great athleticism, Mintze wasn't able to move up the depth chart at outside linebacker in Minnesota this year.
Hennigan and Stevenson were part of the Vikings' UDFA class this year. Neither figured to have much of a chance to make the team, but both could potentially stick around on IR.
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