Travis Lewis no longer part of Vikings linebacker mix
By Dan Zinski
Travis Lewis was signed by the Minnesota Vikings as part of an effort to beef up their linebacker corps, but he didn’t even make it to training camp.
The competition for a spot in the Vikings linebacker corps just became a little less heated as the team Thursday bade farewell to recent free agent pick-up Travis Lewis.
The 28-year-old Lewis was signed earlier this year to a one-year deal worth $810,000 with $50,000 guaranteed and a $50,000 signing bonus. The Vikings save $650,000 in cap space by cutting Lewis.
Before signing with the Vikings, Lewis spent four years with Detroit where he appeared in a total of 42 games with four starts. Most of his starting action came in 2015 when he amassed ten tackles and a sack.
Lewis was always a long-shot to make the team given all the competition at the linebacker position. Minnesota has Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks as firm starters, with long-time veteran Chad Greenway currently leading the way as the third linebacker pending the results of his on-going competition with free agent pick-up Emmanuel Lamur. Promising youngster Edmond Robinson and stalwart Audie Cole were also ahead of Lewis in the pecking order.
Minnesota’s linebacker corps is rounded out by 2016 fifth-rounder Kentrell Brothers, on-the-bubble former seventh-rounder Brandon Watts and 2016 UDFA Jake Ganus.
Evidently, Mike Zimmer and company thought that was enough linebackers to carry into camp, and determined that Lewis was odd-man-out. Minnesota still has some work to do sifting through the remaining talent at linebacker and determining who fits where. Of the remaining players at the position, Watts and Ganus are in the most peril.
Ganus appears to at least have practice squad potential after reportedly looking very good in early OTAs workouts.
The Vikings also announced Thursday that they have also cut DT Bruce Gaston. The 24-year-old Gaston was picked up a couple weeks ago after stints with various teams including the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers.