Vikings Release David Morgan, Could Bring Him Back Pending Injury Status

Will Ragatz

In addition to the big Vikings roster news of the day – the releases of Xavier Rhodes and Linval Joseph – the team also released tight end David Morgan. But this move wasn't to create cap space, it was a precautionary measure due to an unknown injury situation.

Morgan, a sixth-round pick in 2016, was set to make just $735,000 next season. The issue is that he missed all of last season with a knee injury, the status of which is still not fully clear as he continues to rehab it. Due to his injury situation, Morgan's contract tolled for 2020, meaning he would remain on the roster unless released. As Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press explains, the Vikings could've been stuck with his contract even if he failed a physical, which is why they are releasing him now. If he's healthy, a return is a distinct possibility.

Morgan played in 40 games (including playoffs) with the Vikings from 2016 through 2018. He caught just 16 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown during that time, but is widely considered to be the Vikings' best blocker at the tight end position. He played a career-high 393 offensive snaps in 2017 – 35 percent of the Vikings' total – and received an elite 85.5 grade from PFF. The 6-foot-4, 265-pound Morgan can almost function as an extra offensive lineman in multiple-TE sets and hold his own against defensive linemen and edge rushers.

The Vikings have plenty of depth at tight end, starting with nine-year veteran Kyle Rudolph and 2019 second-round pick Irv Smith Jr. They also have Tyler Conklin entering his third season and reserve/future signee Brandon Dillon.

If Morgan is healthy, there is always room for a player with his blocking ability. He had surgery prior to the 2019 season and again in October, and it's unclear if he will be ready for training camp.