Vikings Rumors: Cutting a 2023 Draft Pick, Getting Greedy, & Minnesota’s Creative Coaches

NFL: Preseason-Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings
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Though we’re now into the portion of the year when Vikings rumors aren’t as abundant, we’ll still be highlighting some of the purple rumblings.

The “Vikings Rumor Wrangle” is a series that keeps readers informed on what’s being whispered about in Vikings Land. In this iteration, we discuss the possible cut of a recent pick, the Vikings’ potential interest in a CB, and the coaches getting creative.

The Vikings Rumors – 08.23.2023

Rumor #1 — A Recent Draftee is Battling for his Roster Spot

So far, DeWayne McBride has had an underwhelming preseason.

Dustin Baker explores the potential cut on Vikings Territory, explaining, “Yet, the mere presence of six halfbacks, plus a fullback, on a roster that will dwindle to 53 men on August 29, is a crowded house. Ideally for McBride, the Vikings wouldn’t have needed Smith or Dykes because he had sewn up the RB4 gig. While that could still materialize, it feels less likely than it did around the start of June, for example.”

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Jaren Hall (16) tosses the ball to running back DeWayne McBride (37) as they face the Titans at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023.

The opening game resulted in 6 carries for 15 scoreless yards. The second preseason game was a bit better, leading to 6 carries for 18 yards and a touchdown. Even with the improvement, though, McBride’s performance leaves a little something to be desired.

The 222nd pick in the most recent draft, DeWayne McBride is legitimately battling for a spot in Minnesota. If he fails to make the initial 53-man roster, he’s a prime candidate for the practice squad.

Rumor #2 — The Vikings Should Circle Around to a Recently-Released Corner

The theory makes a lot of sense.

On PurplePTSD, Josh Frey offered a reasonable take on why the Vikings could have some interest in free agent corner Greedy Williams. Only 25, Williams was a 2nd-round selection in 2019. Even more compelling is that Kwesi Adofo-Mensah overlapped with the corner back in Cleveland. The bonus is that Williams can play man.

Jul 26, 2019; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns cornerback Greedy Williams (26) celebrates an interception during training camp at the Cleveland Browns Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Frey concludes, “With the Vikings having so much uncertainty at the cornerback position, in addition to both Mekhi Blackmon and Akayleb Evans going down with injuries during Thursday’s joint practice against the Tennessee Titans, Williams could be a player on the Vikings radar heading into the final week of preseason action.”

The team sits on roughly $10.5 million in cap space, more than enough to sign the talented corner if both sides have a desire to work together.

Rumor #3 — Minnesota’s Coaches are Getting Creative with Play Calling

Kevin O’Connell confirmed this one.

O’Connell notes that Wes Phillips got a shot to call the plays against Tennessee: “I called some of the early, first half stuff. And then trying to get [Phillips] some reps. Thinking about trying to get creative with the game next weekend.”

Sep 30, 2022; Thundridge, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Wes Phillips during practice at Hanbury Manor. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

O’Connell goes on to reflect on how he received a similar chance while working for Jay Gruden in Washington and Sean McVay in Los Angeles. Shortly thereafter, O’Connell notes some of the benefits: “I just think it’s a really good thing for me to sit back and kind of evaluate our whole team sometimes.”

The head coach suggested that Phillips and some other assistants (Keenan McCardell?) could get some chances to call plays on Saturday. Meanwhile, Brian Flores has been doing something similar on defense, allowing members of his staff to call plays.

It’s a good move for Minnesota as the team continues cultivating individual skill and talent.

Editor’s Note: Information from Over the Cap helped with this piece.