No Major Surprises on Roster Trimming

The Vikings released 20 players and place one on injured reserve on Saturday, cutting their roster to the league-mandated 53 players. Here is our quick take on the moves.

The Vikings announced their roster moves Saturday, bringing an end to a week of speculation on who might stay and who might go.

With the four-game suspension of Bryant McKinnie, the team needed to trim the roster by 21 players. They released 20 of them and placed safety Michael Boulware on injured reserve. Boulware appeared to injure his wrist during Thursday's preseason finale against the Dallas Cowboys, which opened the path for rookie safety Husain Abdullah to make the 53-man roster, at least for now.

The Vikings could release others if they find players they like released by other NFL teams.

They can build their eight-man practice squad starting Sunday afternoon.

Here are the releases:

QB Brooks Bollinger: Bollinger struggled in his two seasons in Minnesota, completing 13 of 18 passes for a 72.9 passer rating in 2006 and taking six sacks in that limited duty. In 2007, he completed 33 of 50 passes for an 88.0 rating with seven sacks. This preseason, he completed 14 of 35 passes for a 55.1 rating and took three sacks. The Vikings gave the nod to John David Booty as the third quarterback behind Tarvaris Jackson and Gus Frerotte.

RB Albert Young: Young had a 3.3-yard average on 39 preseason carries and averaged 24.4 yards on five kickoff returns. He is a likely practice-squad candidate if he clears waivers.

WR Jaymar Johnson: The sixth-round pick, the Vikings' final selection of the 2008 draft, had only two catches in the preseason, but he showed some promise as a punt returner, averaging 12 yards on six returns. While he led the team in that category, he didn't do as well returning kickoffs, averaging 19.5 yards on four returns. He could be a practice-squad candidate as well.

WR Martin Nance: Nance was one of the biggest cuts for the Vikings. They easily could have kept him as a sixth receiver and he is out of practice squad chances with Minnesota. It wouldn't be surprising to see him make an active roster with another team. He was the second-leading receiver for the Vikings in the preseason with eight catches and one touchdown.

WR Darius Reynaud: Reynaud had a productive college career at West Virginia and shows some return capabilities in the pros. That might be enough to give him consideration for the practice squad.

WR Nate Jones: While the Vikings liked his ability to quickly pick up the playbook, he doesn't stand out in any one area and didn't get free often enough.

OT Chase Johnson: Johnson was part of the active roster last year, but the coaching staff had hinted that he wasn't making consistent progress this offseason. While the team could use depth at the position early in the season with Bryant McKinnie's four-game suspension, Johnson looked like he could be beaten often by quick defensive ends.

G Brian Daniels: Daniels practiced and played well during the preseason, and he could have easily made the 53-man roster. Maybe it was his lack of versatility – he only played guard – that didn't allow him a roster spot, but he could return on the practice squad.

C Dan Mozes: Mozes showed promise last offseason, but a knee injury during a training-camp practice with the Chiefs in 2007 ended that season for Mozes. This year, with John Sullivan drafted to play behind Birk, Mozes and his undersized NFL body were expendable.

OL Tim Mattran: He had gotten work at center, guard and tackle. He showed he probably isn't a left tackle, but he might have a chance to develop at any of the other four spots on the line if the Chaska native gets a crack at the practice squad.

TE Braden Jones: Jones, another injured-reserve rookie last year, showed he can be a decent pass-catcher, but, like Mozes, he was undersized for his position and could have been a blocking liability.

DE Martail Burnett: Another undrafted rookie, the Vikings were originally high on Burnett and gave him the second-highest signing bonus of the free-agent rookies. However, he never really flashed during the preseason, getting just two tackles and no sacks.

DE Chris Norwell: Norwell was a late addition to the team during training camp when they were short on defensive ends because of injuries to Jayme Mitchell and Brian Robison.

DL Leger Douzable: Douzable has some versatility, which is always a plus on the defensive line. He can play both the three-technique, the position manned by Kevin Williams, and defensive end. He had seven tackles in the preseason and could be worth a practice-squad callback.

LB Rufus Alexander: The 2007 sixth-round pick was working his way back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered last preseason and admitted he didn't quite have all of his burst back yet. More time to make that recovery could help him to become a factor down the line, but it's uncertain if the Vikings will bring him back on the practice squad.

LB J. Leman: With Derrick Pope released earlier in the week, Leman was the only other backup linebacker who had been working mostly at middle linebacker E.J. Henderson, but he wasn't able to make the same impression as his training-camp roommate, Erin Henderson.

CB Brandon Sumrall: Sumrall didn't have much of a chance in a deep corps of cornerbacks. He didn't have many extended opportunities in the preseason but didn't look bad in the finale, his most extensive action. That limited action might be enough to give him some practice-squad consideration.

CB Marcus Walker: Walker had a solid preseason, but just like Sumrall ran into a deep and more veteran defensive backfield. His cover skills could get him a spot on the practice squad.

S Dee McCann: McCann was on the practice squad last year and was making the transition from cornerback to safety this offseason. He showed some promise in that role, but his practice-squad hopes will be purely based on numbers.

K Steven Hauschka: With veteran Ryan Longwell on the roster, Hauschka stood no chance barring injury.


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