As reported late last night, the Vikings likely weren't done tuning their lineup as cutdown time approached. However, the moves the team made came as something of a surprise.
Within the last half hour (of this writing), the Vikings traded a fifth round draft pick in 2002 and a conditional sixth-round pick in 2003 to the Cleveland Browns for RB Travis Prentice and QB Spergon Wynn.
Due to the ineffective play of Todd Bouman, it wasn't surprising that the team made a deal to acquire Wynn, who has a strong arm and played very well in NFL Europe to compete for the No. 2 job. However, the signing of Prentice, who led the Browns in rushing as a rookie last year but wasn't an especially strong runner between the tackles, which is what the Vikings need right now.
What the Vikings did to allow room for Prentice in the backfield was even more of a surprise, cutting longtime veteran Moe Williams, who is also a valuable special teams players and the most experienced back in the Vikings' system. The team also cut third-string QB Romaro Miller to make room for Wynn.
The other surprising cut is that of defensive lineman Fermando Smith, who each of the young linemen told VU two weeks ago was the leader they looked to as an example. Linebacker Craig Sauer was also released and his lingering plantar fascia injury could be the end of his career if he can't overcome it. CB Carey Scott was also placed on injured reserve.
VU is going to follow up on this story in hopes of getting comments and rationale from the key players in the decision-making process, but, as of now, the Vikings cuts have gone from 15 to 17 players.
The cuts are:
RB Moe Williams
DL Fernando Smith
LB Craig Sauer
TE Matt Cercone
LB Antonio Wilson
OL Jay Humphrey
RB James Wofford
OL Mike Malono
WR Kenny Clark
FB Dewayne Miles
FB Shaun Paga
S Brian Russell
DT Tim Engelhardt
LB Rahim Abdullah
LB Mike Crawford
QB Romaro Miller
15 Cuts Become 17 With Trade
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