August 2008

Dontarrious on the market

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

Turns out Dontarrious Thomas’ stay in the Bay Area was a brief one.

As posted in the comments section of the previous blog, the former Vikings linebacker was cut by San Francisco after the 49ers signed linebacker Ahmad Brooks. Brooks was released by Cincinnati on Saturday.

Thomas was a second-round pick by the Vikings out of Auburn in 2004 and spent his first four seasons with the organization. It will be interesting to see if the Vikings have any interest in him. There are two reasons Minnesota might consider Thomas.

The first is that he was a special teams contributor and with linebacker Heath Farwell out for the season the Vikings could be looking for help in this area. The other is that Thomas was considered the top backup at all three linebacker spots the past two seasons and right now it’s unclear if there is one top backup.

For instance, weak-side linebacker Ben Leber spent time in training camp working as the middle linebacker in the nickel defense.

The Vikings consider the linebacker positions somewhat interchangeable so if a player knows one position he can play all three provided he has the athletic ability to do so. Thomas has that ability. He also is very familiar with the Minnesota defense so stepping in during Week 1 would be a non-issue.

Update: ESPN is reporting that Brooks Bollinger, who was released by the Vikings on Saturday, probably will be added by the Cowboys after their season opener. If the Cowboys signed Bollinger now, his salary for this season would be guaranteed.


Vikings sign eight to practice squad

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

The Vikings announced their eight-man practice squad this afternoon. All of the players were with the team in training camp. The unit includes:

  • DE Martail Burnett, DE, rookie, Utah
  • G Brian Daniels, G, first year, Colorado
  • Leger Douzable, DT, rookie, Central Florida
  • Jaymar Johnson, WR, rookie, Jackson State
  • Tim Mattran, C, rookie, Stanford
  • Darius Reynaud, WR, West Virginia
  • Marcus Walker, CB, rookie, Oklahoma
  • Albert Young RB, rookie, Iowa


Practice squad being set

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

The Vikings are in the process of establishing their eight-man practice squad today. Wide receiver Jaymar Johnson and defensive end Martail Burnett are both believed to have signed to that unit after being released during the final roster cutdown Saturday. 

The Vikings established a 53-man roster late yesterday afternoon but that doesn’t mean it’s a finished product. Teams had a chance last night and this morning to digest the waiver wire and look at free agents (veterans who don’t have to go through the waiver process). That means more moves could be coming today.

One player being asked about in relation to the Vikings is veteran tackle Willie Anderson, who was let go by Cincinnati on Saturday. The question, obviously, stems from the fact the Vikings won’t have the services of left tackle Bryant McKinnie for four games. Anderson, though, had been playing right tackle for the Bengals and had lost his starting job to Stacy Andrews during the offseason.

UPDATE: Offensive guard Brian Daniels and offensive lineman Tim Mattran have been signed to the practice squad. That brings us to four of the eight, including Johnson and Burnett. Mattran is a native of Chaska.

Just confirmed that cornerback Marcus Walker has been signed to practice squad. That’s five of the eight. 

Roster analysis

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

Here are Chip’s thoughts on the roster breakdown.

Not a lot of big surprises. I was midly surprised that Rufus Alexander didn’t make it and I thought the team would keep six wide receivers instead of five.

Rufus and the coaches agreed that he has yet to regain all his explosiveness after suffering a torn ACL last year.

The team opted to stay with five wide receivers. Martin Nance, Jaymar Johnson and Darius Reynaud did some nice things, but they couldn’t stick.

I wonder what would have happened had Michael Boulware not suffered a broken wrist at Dallas and placed on IR. Does he make it over Husain Abdullah? 

I think everyone sort of assumed that John David Booty would win the No. 3 job over Brooks Bollinger so that wasn’t a surprise.

Drew Radovich made the team after Bryant McKinnie got an exemption while he serves his four-game suspension. The coaches like Radovich, but he was slowed in training camp by a shoulder injury.


Vikings announce cuts; Boulware to IR

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

The Vikings cut their roster by 20 players and placed safety Michael Boulware on injured reserve to get to the regular-season limit of 53. Here are the players who were let go in the final cuts: (Left tackle Bryant McKinnie has been placed on the reserve/suspended list.) We’ll have more analysis up on the blog as soon as we digest the roster and write a few things for the daily paper.

We had heard David Herron was going to be among the cuts but that was not the case. Herron remains on the roster.


K Steven Hauschka

QB Brooks Bollinger

WR Jaymar Johnson

WR Nate Jones

WR Martin Nance

CB Marcus Walker

CB Dee McCann

CB Brandon Sumrall

RB Albert Young

TE Braden Jones

LB J Leman

LB Rufus Alexander

DE Martail Burnett

OG Brian Daniels

DE Chris Norwell 

C Dan Mozes

C Tim Mattran

T Chase Johnson

WR Darius Reynaud

DT Leger Douzable


S Michael Boulware


Booty makes the cut; cuts coming at 4:45 p.m.

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

This comes as no great surprise but rookie quarterback John David Booty has made the cut, beating out veteran Brooks Bollinger for the No. 3 job.

The move was expected and will be official when the team announces its 53-man roster later today.

Neither quarterback distinguished himself in the preseason, but the Vikings traded up to take Booty in the draft and would probably not be able to get him through waivers and onto the practice squad.

UPDATE: Rookie sixth-round pick Jaymar Johnson has been released. The guess is they want him to be on the practice squad.

Rookie DE Martail Burnett has been released.

CB Dee McCann has been released.

Rookie DE Leger Douzable has been released. 

Update: The Vikings are going to announce the cuts at 4:45 p.m. Can you feel the excitement? We’ll start a new blog entry when that happens.


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