3 Potential Surprise Vikings Roster Cuts

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings added notable talent on both sides of the ball this offseason. The team also saw several notable players leave, such as Danielle Hunter and Kirk Cousins.

Every offseason, NFL teams have roster turnover. This is especially true when a team missed the playoffs the previous season like the Vikings did in 2023. While there are certainly several notable names on the roster bubble, a few players could be surprise cuts from the Vikings roster this summer.

For example, the secondary is deeper now than it was a year ago. This will lead to the team having make a few tough decisions regarding a couple of former high draft picks. The linebacker, edge rusher, and tight end groups are also primed to have intense competition this summer. Today, I want to identify the three players who could be surprise casualties before the 2024 season begins.

C.J. Ham

Vikings Roster
Sep 23, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back CJ Ham (30) during a game between the Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

C.J. Ham has been a captain for the Vikings in each of the last three seasons. The fullback is one of the most respected members of the locker room and has been selected to multiple Pro Bowls. However, Ham is a fullback, which is a position that has lost its relevance over the years. Even still, would the Vikings cut a leader like Ham?

I believe it’s a possibility. For example, the tight end room is deep and the team could prefer to keep a fourth there instead of keeping Ham. Also, the team would save over $2 million if Ham is cut with a post-June 1 designation. Ham is known as a great blocker, but he didn’t contribute much to the offense in 2023. It’s entirely possible the team prefers to keep another playmaker around instead of the FB.

Ham is a Duluth native and a great teammate. However, the combined factors of his advancing age and his position may make him a cut candidate before Week One.

Jerry Tillery

NFL: New York Jets at Las Vegas Raiders
Nov 12, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) throws under pressure from Las Vegas Raiders defensive tackle Jerry Tillery (90) during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The defensive line is not the deepest position group on the Vikings’ roster. In fact, the team could probably afford to add depth in some way before the season begins.

Veteran Jerry Tillery was added this offseason on a one-year deal. On the surface, it seems unlikely that Tillery would be cut. The Vikings are already thin on the line and Tillery was the only free agent addition to the group this offseason. The veteran received over $1.4 million guaranteed.

However, Tillery has not exactly been the most productive player in his career. The former first-round pick has never lived up to that billing, with just one season with more than three sacks under his belt. The veteran could easily lose his roster spot if rookie Levi Drake Rodriguez or old friend James Lynch impress this summer.

Andrew Booth Jr.

Aug 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Andrew Booth. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Like Tillery, Andrew Booth is another former high draft pick who could be on the chopping block. Booth is fighting for his life in a deep Minnesota secondary this offseason. Byron Murphy Jr., Shaq Griffin, Akayleb Evans, and Mekhi Blackmon are likely to start camp ahead of Booth on the depth chart.

After being selected in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft, Booth has only started in two games as a pro. The corner has collected just 20 tackles and has failed to land an interception to this point. It’s entirely possible the team grows tired of waiting on Booth to develop and ends the experiment.

Even with Booth’s inconsistency, it would count as a surprise to give up on the corner after just 23 games. Unfortunately, the team may not have a choice with such a deep corner room. Booth is playing for his career this summer.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference.