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Report: Lions claim McCauley

September 6th, 2009 – 12:25 PM by Judd Zulgad

The Detroit Lions claimed Marcus McCauley off waivers after the cornerback was waived by the Vikings in their final roster cutdown on Saturday, according to the Detroit News. The News cited league sources in its report. 

McCauley, a third-round pick by the Vikings in 2007, started 10 games over the past two seasons. However, nine of those starts came in his rookie season when he was active for all 16 games and spent the first part of the year playing in the Vikings’ nickel defense. Last season, McCauley was active for only 10 games in 2009 and had four tackles.

The News speculates that McCauley’s man-to-man coverage skills might be better suited for the Lions’ scheme. The Vikings play a version of the Tampa-2, although it does include some man coverages.

 

Practice squad signed today

September 6th, 2009 – 10:16 AM by Chip Scoggins

Now that the Vikings have established their 53-man roster, the team can start signing players to their eight-man practice squad at 11 a.m.

The big question will be whether quarterback John David Booty gets claimed off waivers. The Vikings likely would like to have him on their practice squad if he’s still available.

I think a lot of people also would like to see former Boise State running back Ian Johnson get signed to the practice squad. Johnson showed some potential this preseason and had his best effort Friday against Dallas.  

Tight end Garrett Mills is eligible for the practice squad, but it’s a good bet that he will get claimed by somebody.

Check back later today to see who the Vikings have signed. 

Ex-Viking suspended by NFL

September 5th, 2009 – 11:16 PM by Judd Zulgad

Defensive end Erasmus James, the second of the Vikings’ two first-round picks in 2005, has been indefinitely suspended by the NFL, according to ProFootballTalk.com. James is not currently with an NFL team.

No official reason has been given for the suspension but you can bet the Vikings are breathing another sigh of relief they were able to get rid of James.

The Vikings originally placed James on waivers in May 2008, but in a savvy move the transaction was made entering the Memorial Day weekend. There was no waiver wire on that Friday. The Washington Redskins decided they would give up a conditional seventh-round pick for James and thus Minnesota was able to get something for a guy who was no longer in their plans.

As for the first of those two opening-round picks for the Vikings in 2005, you probably don’t need to be reminded that Troy Williamson was selected seventh overall with a pick obtained in the trade that sent Randy Moss to the Oakland Raiders.

 

Vikings official cut list; a few thoughts

September 5th, 2009 – 6:06 PM by Judd Zulgad

The Vikings have announced their cuts on the team’s website. Here they are: 

DB Colt Anderson

QB John David Booty

FB Nehemiah Broughton

DE Martail Burnett

OL Chris Clark

OL Brian Daniels

OL Juan Garcia

DE Otis Grigsby

S De’von Hall

LB David Herron

DT Antoine Holmes

RB Ian Johnson

DT Tremaine Johnson

OL Andy Kemp

CB Marcus McCauley

TE Garrett Mills

WR Nick Moore

TE Jake Nordin

WR Vinny Perretta

OL Drew Radovich

DB Marcus Walker

WR Bobby Williams

A couple initial observations before we start writing for the paper:

– With John David Booty gone, the next QB question becomes will Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels be the No. 2 QB to Brett Favre on Sept. 13 in Cleveland? 

– The entire five-man draft class (Percy Harvin, Phil Loadholt, Asher Allen, Jasper Brinkley and Jamarca Sanford) made the roster and so did undrafted rookie center Jon Cooper.

– Linebacker Kenny Onatolu stuck on the roster largely because of his ability to contribute on special teams. The Vikings struggled in coverage last season and if you look at some of the new players who made it (Brinkley, Onatolu, Karl  Paymah, Sanford) they definitely are making a push to improve. The Vikings have seven linebackers on their roster. Erin Henderson made it but he suffered a leg injury in Friday’s game against the Cowboys. No word on how serious that injury might be.

– The Vikings will keep six wide receivers after ending last season with five. Jaymar Johnson and Darius Reynaud both made it. If there were any questions about Reynaud being on the 53, those ended with his performance Friday. That included an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown.

 

Vikings waive QB Booty

September 5th, 2009 – 3:36 PM by Chip Scoggins

The Vikings won’t be keeping four quarterbacks on their active roster.

A night after watching John David Booty struggle in the second half of a preseason loss to Dallas, the Vikings placed Booty on waivers as they cut down to the regular-season roster limit of 53 players. That means the Vikings will enter their opener a week from Sunday at Cleveland with Brett Favre as their starter and Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson behind him.

It remains uncertain whether Rosenfels or Jackson will be the No. 2 quarterback.

Booty, a fifth-round pick by Minnesota in 2008, will now go through the waiver process. If he isn’t claimed by another team, the Vikings could sign Booty to their eight-man practice squad on Sunday. The Vikings will need to cut 22 players from their 75-man roster by 5 p.m. today.

We’ve confirmed that cornerback Marcus McCauley was waived. Not much of a surprise here. McCauley, a third-round pick in 2007, struggled last season and fell behind Benny Sapp and rookie Asher Allen for the No. 3 cornerback job. McCauley also is not as productive on special teams as Karl Paymah.

UPDATE: Undrafted rookie center Jon Cooper has made the 53-man roster.  

Here is a running list of players the Vikings have waived:

QB John David Booty

FB Nehemiah Broughton

DE Martail Burnett

DE Otis Grigsby

S De’von Hall

LB David Herron

RB Ian Johnson

DT Tremaine Johnson

CB Marcus McCauley

TE Garrett Mills

WR Nick Moore 

TE Jake Nordin

WR Vinny Perretta

OT Drew Radovich 

The court case that wouldn’t end

September 5th, 2009 – 12:49 PM by Judd Zulgad

With the regular-season approaching, we have received a few questions about the status of Pat and Kevin Williams’ court case and whether a ruling is expected anytime soon.

The obvious concern among Vikings fans is that the Pro Bowl defensive tackles lose their case and thus are forced to sit out four games for violating the NFL’s anti-steroid policy. Star Tribune staff writer Rochelle Olson, who has done an excellent job covering this case, wrote on Aug. 19 that the chairwoman for the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals said the three judge panel that most recently heard arguments from the NFL and the Williamses’ representatives would rule in “due time, keeping in mind the start of the season.”

Here is Rochelle’s story from that day.

Considering the complex nature of this case, and the fact that all most people care about is if and when this situation is going to be resolved, it should be noted that a ruling by the three panel judge does not mean this case will be complete. In fact, regardless of how the judges decide, the losing side is likely to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.

The legal system being what it is, that means there is an excellent chance this case is going to drag on right through the football season and into 2010.

 

Access Vikings

Join Vikings beat writers Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins on a usually informative and often irreverent journey inside the Vikings.

Just like the NFL, Zulgad and Scoggins go at it all year long -- on and off the field.