Rick Spielman was one of only a small handful of NFL GMs who bothered to show up at last month’s veteran combine in Arizona. Spielman’s willingness to go anywhere and everywhere in the name of cheaply building a roster has now paid off in a pair of low-profile signings.
More from Vikings Free Agency
- 3 moves the Vikings could still make in free agency in 2023
- 5 biggest surprises of Minnesota Vikings free agency in 2023
- 3 free agents the Vikings (might) regret not signing in 2023
- Vikings Free Agency 2023: Arrivals, departures, and rumors from Day 2
- Vikings Free Agency 2023: Arrivals, departures, and rumors from Day 1
The 29-year-old Rayford has hit a lot of stops along the way in his pro football career…and that is putting it mildly.
The 6-7 DE played his college ball at Washington, breaking into the professional ranks in 2008 with the BC Lions of the CFL. He then did stints with the Spokane Shock and Utah Blaze of the Arena Football League.
The NFL came calling in 2013 when the Indianapolis Colts brought Rayford to camp. Rayford failed to make the roster with Indy but was picked up by the Cowboys and finished out the season on their practice squad.
Rayford found himself back on the market in 2014 and signed on with the Calgary Stampeders’ practice squad, only to be cut three days later. Next he landed on the Montreal Alouettes’ practice squad where he hung on for the better part of a month.
Had Rayford not signed on with the Vikings (at least for the time being), he did have the option of returning to the AFL with the Jacksonville Sharks, who acquired him in a dispersal draft two years ago and still held his rights.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to remember all that. There’s no test.
Rayford’s long (long long) resume tells you two things: one, he’s never been good enough to catch on anywhere except the Arena League; and two, a lot of teams look at his 6-7 frame and get ideas.
Thanks to the veteran combine, Rayford gets one more shot at real football.
More from The Viking Age
- 6 biggest draft steals in Minnesota Vikings history
- Former Vikings first-round pick could reportedly return to NFC North
- Bears analyst has extremely embarrassing Kirk Cousins take
- 6 Vikings who (maybe) won’t make the 53-man roster in 2023
- Predicting what the Vikings will do in the 2023 NFL Draft based on 2022