The Vikings waived defensive end Erasmus James today, according to the team’s website. One of the Vikings’ two first-round picks in the 2005 draft — receiver Troy Williamson was the other — James was waived after failing to pass his physical.
James, who is recovering from three operations on his left knee in a 13-month period, did very limited work during the Vikings’ opening four days (Monday-Thursday) of organized team activities this week. “We decided today to waive Erasmus and we wish the best for him in the future,” Vikings coach Brad Childress said in a statement on the team’s website.
James originally was injured in Week 2 of the 2006 season against Carolina when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament and sprained his medial collateral ligament.
James continued to be slowed into last season and was inactive for six of the first seven games. He also battled a shoulder injury in October of last season. He made his first start of last season on Dec. 2 against Detroit but re-injured the knee and underwent season-ending ACL surgery.
James was selected with the 18th overall pick by the Vikings out of the University of Wisconsin. The Vikings believed James would provide them with a pass-rushing presence from the right end. He had four sacks in 15 games as a rookie but played in only eight games the past two years and had only one sack in that time.
“We’ll see what happens,” said Ethan Lock, who serves as James’ agent. “Something will happen. He’ll be fine.”
James arrived at the Vikings’ training camp in Mankato in 2005 after missing 19 practices because of a contract dispute. He received a seven-year deal that was set up to void after five years and had a total value of $9.8 million. A little under $7 million was guaranteed.
The move means only second-round pick Marcus Johnson, an offensive tackle, is left from the Vikings’ 2005 draft class. Also gone are Williamson, safety Dustin Fox, defensive tackle C.J. Mosley and cornerback Adrian Ward.