C.J. Ham Has Some Competition

Jan 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings fullback C.J. Ham (30) runs the ball while pursued by Chicago Bears inside linebacker Roquan Smith (58) during the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Like the masked murderer in a horror movie, C.J. Ham just keeps coming.

For at least a couple years, the veteran fullback has been in the cut chatter surrounding the Vikings. After all, he plays a somewhat antiquated position, offering a skill set more suitable for the NFL of yesteryear than the one that flashes across your TV screen on Sunday.

Every year, though, he continues to stick around, endearing himself to coaches and teammates alike. And, of course, fans love him. Why shouldn’t they? He does a lot of things well and is a team captain. Oh, and he’ll absolutely wallop defenders:

Don’t get distracted by the talented tight end. Watch #30 work his way across the field to lay the block on the Giants defender.

Coming into the offseason, C.J. Ham was carrying a beefy a $3.8 million cap hit. The extension brought things down to a more modest $2,716,666. Cutting him – supremely unlikely – would lead to a $4.15 million dead money charge.

Cap realities aside, it’s notable that the team has brought in Zach Ojile. The youngster played his college ball at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Dec 9, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings fullback C.J. Ham (30) looks on prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Ojile, 24, tips the scales at 238 pounds and stands at 6’2″. He actually played tight end in college, but the Vikings are kicking him into Ham’s position.

At this point, the chances of the young fella unseating the established veteran are supremely small. What’s far likelier is that Ojile is, in fact, battling for a roster spot with players like Johnny Mundt, Ben Ellefson, Ivan Pace, Luiji Vilain, Nick Muse, Troy Reeder, and Benton Whitley (among others). All of those players will need to show they can be special teams stalwarts in order to crack the 53-man roster.

Minnesota is a franchise that boasts some bruisers in their history. To my mind, Jim Kleinsasser stands out at the skill-player blocker par excellence, but that’s merely one man’s opinion. Those older than your humble author may be able to propose another name or two.

Last season, C.J. Ham had 10 catches and 86 yards to go alongside his 4 carries, 7 yards, and 2 TDs. Based off Minnesota’s offseason moves, the Vikings will likely lean on their powerful FB a touch more in the upcoming season. Don’t rush to draft him in your fantasy drafts, but hopefully we’ll see him clearing pathways for the Vikings’ RBs.

Oh, and don’t forget to check in on Zach Ojile. He may force his way onto the roster if he proves to be a tremendous special teams player.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference and Over the Cap helped with this piece.