Tate Released

It became clear when the Vikings depth chart dropped Robert Tate to third string that he would have a difficult time making the team. Tuesday, his Vikings career ended.

Robert Tate came to the Vikings as a wide receiver with talent and raw ability. Because of problems the Vikings had on the defensive side of the ball -- go figure -- he was moved to CB and became an instant starter.

Fast forward to Tuesday, Tate had lost his starting job, lost his nickel back job and lost his dime back job in the Vikings secondary. As a result, and as coach Mike Tice told VU, the team did him a favor by releasing him.

Tice said he wanted to give Tate a chance to catch on with another team so he cut him a week before a slew of other cuts will hit the road in search of a new home on the league's first cutdown date Aug. 27.

The overhaul of the Vikings defense looks to be complete with the release of Tate. With his ouster, all four secondary starters from opening day last year -- CBs Tate and Kenny Wright and safeties Robert Griffith and Orlando Thomas are all no longer with the team.

* Three teams have already expressed an interest in Tate -- Carolina, Baltimore and Green Bay. The best bet may be Carolina, where Tate could do double duty as a CB and a kickoff return man. The Panthers lost KR Michael Bates for the season with a broken leg and are in the market for a new return man.
* Doctors confirmed Tuesday that Lemanski Hall has a fractured orbit of his right eye. He is expected to miss at least two weeks and both he and LB Raonall Smith have been ruled out for Friday's game with Tennessee.
* Corbin Lacina returned to practice after another bout with cellulitis -- an infection of the lower leg. He has had the infection more than once while battling ankle injuries.
* With Tate gone, the only Vikings with more than five years experience with the team are Dave Dixon and Chris Walsh, both entering their ninth year with the team, and Harold Morrow, in his seventh year as a Viking.
* Former Vikings TE Giles Cole was released by the Rams Tuesday.

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