Minnesota Vikings: 10 Players That Should Not Be on the Roster in 2011
The Minnesota Vikings clearly have a lot of holes on both sides of the ball.
They don't have a starting quarterback.
They need to revamp their offensive and defensive lines.
They could be losing veterans Ray Edwards, Pat Williams, and even possibly Sidney Rice.
They will probably look to the draft to fill some of these holes, but that can't be the answer to all of their questions.
Eventually, free agency will open back up and could be an avenue for the Vikings to fill some holes as well.
They should also take this off-season as an opportunity to relinquish some players whose performances have been inadequate over the last few seasons.
Releasing or choosing not to resign some of these players could not only create some roster space, but clear out some major cap space as well. The added cap space could be very useful in retaining important players like Sidney Rice or Adrian Peterson, who is a free agent after the 2011 season.
Here are some players that the Vikings could do without moving into the 2011 season.
Honorable Mention: Tarvaris Jackson
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This is the only time that the words "Honorable Mention" and "Tarvaris Jackson" will ever be used in the same headline.
I realize that this could receive a lot of criticism from Vikings Fans, but realistically Tarvaris Jackson is Minnesota's best option at quarterback as it stands.
Yes, Jackson is a free agent, but he could easily be resigned because, honestly, who else wants him?
In 2010, Jackson played in three games, and threw three touchdowns and four interceptions.
Though rookie Joe Webb was much more of a fan favorite in 2010, Jackson was statistically better on the field in some categories.
Jackson averaged more yards per game and had a better passer rating to finish the season. Jackson was also sacked two less times and played in one more game than Webb.
It seems that Brad Childress was the only one to ever give Jackson a chance within the Vikings organization. Many assume that with Childress' departure, Jackson's will follow.
Jackson does have the most experience and is arguably the most talented quarterback that the Vikings currently have access to.
This could potentially not be enough for new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave who is notorious for being a coach that likes to develop his own QB.
The Vikings could either resign Jackson to a short-term contract and keep him around as a safety net. Otherwise, they will look to find a more malleable prospect for Musgrave to mold into the Vikings new Franchise quarterback.
Jackson's future is up in the air at this point.
His status wasn't enough to land him on this list, but he was at least worth mentioning.
10: Hank Baskett
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"Who is Hank Baskett?" you might ask.
Hank Baskett is the Wide Receiver that dropped two touchdowns in the end zone his first week with the Vikings.
Hank Baskett is the guy that fumbled the onside kick for the Colts in the second half of Super Bowl XLIV.
Hank Baskett is the guy that is married to Playboy's Kendra Wilkinson, though reports are surfacing of a potential divorce.
Needless to say, Baskett can be known for dropping the Ball.
Baskett is at the bottom of the receiving core for the Vikings, and with eight other receivers on the roster, a waste of roster space.
The Vikings should drop Hank Baskett, just as he has dropped the ball so many times in his career.
9: Albert Young
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Albert Young spent most of the 2010 season as the third-string running back on the Vikings roster until he was placed on injury reserve after week 13.
In his two years in the NFL, Young has not yet reached 100 career rushing yards.
With the addition of Lorenzo Booker, who valuable to the Vikings on special teams as well, Young's value to the Vikings continued to diminish.
During the whole Brett Favre text scandal, Young was pinpointed as a player who sent a team massage therapist a nude photo of himself.
He should have known better, his value to the team was not high enough to put his career in jeopardy like that.
Players like Albert Young give their organizations bad reputations.
Leslie Frazier likely won't put up with distractions like this in his locker room if he wants to stay the head coach of the Vikings.
Young, who is a free agent, will not be back in 2011.
8: Everson Griffen
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The Vikings were excited to have obtained Everson Griffen in the 4th round of the 2010 NFL draft.
Griffen was thought to have 1st round talent, but slipped all the way to the 4th round because of character issues after he "physically abused" a freshman.
In late January, Griffen was arrested twice in the same weekend. The first time for public drunkenness, and the second time for assaulting a police officer while resisting arrest. He was tased and brought in by police.
In the beginning of 2010, when I thought of Everson Griffen, I thought of the guy who could be a starter for the Vikings sometime in the future.
Now when I think of Everson Griffen, all I think is "don't tase me bro!"
Griffen, like Albert Young, provides further distraction for a team that doesn't need any more distractions this off-season.
He likely won't be cut by the Vikings, but I firmly believe he should.
7: Tyrell Johnson
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Tyrell Johnson was drafted by the Vikings in the 2nd round of the 2008 NFL draft.
Johnson was supposed to have a big-time role on the Vikings defense at safety.
He has struggled over the last two years to maintain his starting role, fighting off Walter Payton Award winner Madieu Williams, along with Hussain Abdullah and Jamarca Sanford.
Given his high profile when he entered the league in 2008, I think that most people would assume that he should have had better numbers than 95 total tackles and 2 interceptions in his career.
I mean, come one, EJ Henderson had more than that in 2010 alone, 106 total tackles and 3 interceptions, and that was coming off of a broken tibia.
Johnson is a free agent in 2011 and likely will not be re-signed by the Vikings.
They will likely look to the draft to fill their hole at safety.
Both UCLA's Rahim Moore and Oklahoma's Quinton Carter would be good fits for the Vikings Tampa-Two system, which requires strong play from their safeties.
6: Greg Lewis
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Greg Lewis will forever be remembered as the guy that made the unbelievable, last second, game-winning catch for the Vikings against the 49ers in 2009.
Since then, however, Lewis hasn't done a thing for the Vikings.
The only receiver on the Vikings roster that had less yards than Greg Lewis in 2010 was Hank Baskett.
Lewis, age 31, is a free agent in 2011 and probably won't be resigned because of his age.
The addition of CFL star receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux doesn't bode well for Greg Lewis.
He probably won't find himself in purple in 2011, unless the Ravens want him - which they probably won't.
5: Lito Sheppard
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Lito Sheppard was brought onto the Vikings by Brad Childress to bring some experience to their defensive secondary.
In 2010, Sheppard has 18 total tackles, 4 passes defended, and no interceptions.
Rookie Chris Cook had better stats than that and he tore both of his menisci.
Sheppard is also a free agent in 2011 and is probably on his way out.
There isn't much need in the NFL for 30-year-old corners, unless your name is Antione Winfield.
The Vikings need to bring some youth to their defense to make it even possible to compete within their division in 2011.
Resigning Sheppard would be a step in the wrong direction.
4: Frank Walker
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Frank Walker is in the same situation as Lito Sheppard.
His stats were better than Sheppard's in 2010, but not by much.
He had 22 total tackles, 6 passes defended, and 1 interception.
He isn't getting any younger, and his play isn't getting any better.
Walker is a free agent, and at 31-years-old, probably is seeing the twilight of his professional football career.
Walker won't be back next year either.
3: Anthony Herrera
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Anthony Herrera started at Right Guard for the Vikings in 2010.
He and center John Sullivan are the two weakest links for the Vikings offensive line.
Herrera was placed on IR towards the end of the 2010 season with a knee injury.
The Vikings will probably take an offensive lineman in the first round of the 2011 draft, likely leaving Herrera high and dry.
I think the Vikings will take USC's Tyron Smith or Colorado's Nate Solder if given the opportunity.
This would allow them to move LT Bryant McKinnie over to right tackle, and move RT Phil Loadholt into guard.
This move would greatly improve their offensive line, benefiting not only the Vikings passing game, but their run game as well.
Although Herrera is not a free agent in 2011, I don't see him making it past training camp.
2: Ben Leber
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Ben Leber has had a good career with the Vikings.
He has been a long time starter at outside linebacker, opposite Pro-Bowler Chad Greenway.
In his 10-year career with the Vikings, Leber has racked up 484 total tackles, 12 forced fumbles, and 5 interceptions.
Like any other player, Leber has lost some steam over the years, only recording 47 tackles in 2010.
The Vikings paid Leber $3,950,000 in 2010.
Now Leber is a free agent, and not a very attractive one at age 32.
I don't think the Vikings will want to continue to pay Leber that kind of money given his age.
They will look to replace Leber to bring a third star to their linebacker core, one that also includes Pro-Bowlers Chad Greenway and EJ Henderson.
1: Bernard Berrian
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Yes there is the very real threat of the Vikings losing top WR Sidney Rice.
In 2010, when Rice was injured, the Vikings needed Berrian to step up and play like the #1 guy they were paying him to be - he couldn't get it done.
In 2010 he had 28 receptions, for 252 yards, and no touchdowns.
That is not very encouraging for a franchise that is paying you $3,700,000.
Berrian is not a free agent in 2011, but the Vikings do owe him an additional $3,900,000 in the next year. They will not want to pay him this much money.
The Vikings will likely look into his trade value, in hopes of getting at very least a low draft pick for him.
If teams don't bite, B-Twice, will probably be cut after training camp.
With how poorly Berrian has played during his time with the Vikings, I don't see them wanting to keep him around much longer.
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In conclusion, the Vikings you will see in 2011 will be a much different team.
Coach Leslie Frazier will want to return his once great defense to its former identity.
The Vikings personnel will change a lot during this off-season, and I think that will be for the better.
A revamped defense, in combination with offensive players that can actually move the ball will make the Vikings a dangerous team once again in 2011.
The road ahead is long, but I think the future is bright for the Vikings and their new coaching staff.