Look Who's Staying

With the Vikings forced to make some tough decisions Saturday to get down to the 53-man roster limit, who stayed made for interesting discussion in the final decision process.

There was plenty of speculation last week as to who had done enough to stay on the roster and who would be gone when the team cut down to 53 players Saturday. When all was said and done, however, some of the names that stayed came as a surprise.

Defensive tackle Steve Martin was placed on injured reserve despite having an ankle injury that wasn't deemed to be that serious. The primary reason for his release was the solid play and potential of C.J. Mosley, who will take over Martin's spot on the roster.

Another small surprise came at cornerback, where the Vikings kept a pair of free agent rookies -- Laroni Gallishaw and Dovonti Edwards. Neither was a guarantee to make the team, but thanks to strong special teams work, both found their way on the final roster.

The other question came at wide receiver, where it was believed the Vikings might have to release either Kelly Campbell or Keenan Howry if the numbers game caught up with them. Instead, they kept both and each will likely be asked to contribute as return men.

* The trade that brought center Melvin Fowler over from the Browns for Nat Dorsey was an insurance move by the Vikings, who can slow down the process of having Adam Goldberg learn the center spot -- a position he's never played. There are some who believe Fowler can challenge Cory Withrow for his starting job.
* The Vikings weren't the only team that had to cut loose talent Saturday. Among the notable names on the cut list were former Vikings Robert Tate (Cardinals), Tony Williams (Bengals), DeAndre Eiland (Dolphins) and Lewis Kelly (Giants). Other familiar names included RB Quentin Griffin (Denver), DT Cleditus Hunt (Packers), WR David Terrell (Patriots), DE Hugh Douglas (Eagles), CB Willie Middlebrooks (49ers), WR Jerome Pathon (Seahawks) and OT Derrick Deese (Buccaneers).
* Three veteran punters -- Tom Rouen, Sean Landetta and Chris Mohr -- were also released and could be options if Darren Bennett has worn his welcome with erratic punts again this preseason.
* An interesting name on the cut list was Redskins wide receiver Kevin Dyson. Dyson is the answer to a nagging trivia question for Titans fans, since he was the only wide receiver in the 1998 draft taken before Randy Moss.
* Former Viking Duane Clemons was suspended for four games Saturday for an undisclosed violation of the league's substance abuse policy.
* Former Vikings RB Ted Brown accepted a plea agreement to cancel a trial scheduled for later this year on charges stemming from the Arctic Blast incident of more than two years ago. Brown's plea allowed him to maintain his innocence but acknowledge that there was enough evidence against him that he could have been found guilty. He isn't expected to serve any jail time under the agreement, instead he'll likely be sentenced to 100 hours of community service. Both the prosecuting attorney and the alleged victim have expressed dissatisfaction with the plea agreement.

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