53 Man Roster Set...For Now

The Vikes surprised a lot of people who were "certain" of the team's future Sunday. But VU is hearing the changes are still in the cards.

Some in the media said no big surprises would come in the Vikings final cuts.

But, not only were some of the decisions made by the team a surprise to the media, they were a surprise to the team.

The cuts are reminiscent of when Denny Green first took over the Vikes. He let loose a bunch of veterans in an attempt to build a young team in his image. The release of Moe Williams means the halfback with the most experience is the one they traded for -- second-year man Travis Prentice from Cleveland. In addition, Fernando Smith, who many of the young defensive linemen viewed as a leader of the group, was also released.

In their place, the young Vikings are being asked to take on a leadership role, but that may not be the last word on that front.

VU has been told by a source with the team close to the pulse that the Vikings aren't content with the 53 players they have at the moment and that at least one or two more players may be added in the coming days -- perhaps sooner than later. In fact, there is the outside chance that one or more players released Sunday may not have seen their last days in purple and gold.

* Two players -- Fernando Smith and Craig Sauer -- were released with injury settlements. Both of them give the Vikings additional salary cap space, which, coming into Sunday, was more than $2 million.
* Cortez Kennedy announced his retirement from football Sunday, an announcement about as anti-climactic as Cris Carter's non-retirement press conference at the Super Bowl. VU has been told by a source close to the Kennedy talks that the Vikings offered him a two-year contract worth more than $2 million, with minimal up-front money but incentives that could have pushed it over $3 million.
* The Vikings may not sit as is at a couple of key positions. By not cutting Nate Jacquet or rookie Cedric James, the team currently has seven wide receivers, while only carrying six linebackers on the roster. Expect one or both of those numbers to change before midweek.
* As part of the trade that brought Travis Prentice and Spergon Wynn to the Vikes, the team reacquired the seventh-round pick in 2002 that was surrendered in the trade to get Everett Lindsay back from Cleveland.
* Another roster surprise was at tight end, where Shonn Bell -- best known for using his head to stop a punch from Daunte Culpepper -- won out over Matt Cercone. While this, too, isn't etched in stone, many thought Bell was finished when getting up in the grill of the franchise's cash cow.
* All eight of the players drafted in April are still with the team. The only one not on the 53-man roster -- cornerback Carey Scott -- was placed on injured reserve.
* A pair of former Viking tight ends were cut casualties Sunday -- the Raiders cut Andrew Glover and the Rams released Giles Cole.

Viking Update Top Stories