Former Minnesota Vikings linebacker released by the New Orleans Saints

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Michael Mauti
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Michael Mauti /

Former Minnesota Vikings linebacker and 2013 draft pick Michael Mauti was released by the New Orleans Saints on Wednesday.

After the Minnesota Vikings selected him in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft, linebacker Michael Mauti struggled to find his fit on the team. With the Vikings in 2013 and 2014, Mauti ended up spending the majority of his time on special teams.

In 2015, Minnesota felt they had seen enough from the young linebacker and he was among the team’s final roster cuts before the start of the regular season.

A day after he was waived by the Vikings, Mauti was claimed by the New Orleans Saints. Despite the fact that he still struggled to capture a role on their starting defense, the linebacker has been a member of the Saints’ roster for the past three years.

Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings /

Minnesota Vikings

This past April, Mauti and New Orleans agreed on a new one-year deal that would keep him in town for the 2018 season. However, it appears as though the Saints already have second thoughts about that decision and are moving in a different direction this year instead.

On Wednesday, New Orleans decided to release Mauti and two other players. The linebacker’s cap hit in 2018 was only scheduled to be $630,000, but the Saints clearly didn’t believe he was worth keeping around for the upcoming season.

It’s possible that Mauti, a native of New Orleans, could find his way back to the Saints sometime in the near future. He was part of their final cuts before the regular season last year and ended up re-signing with New Orleans during the middle of last October.

However, if the Saints don’t show any interest in bringing Mauti back, he may not get a call from another NFL team.

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Being that he’s been in the league for five seasons and has only started in a total of four games, he does not really have any upside. A team is likely better off with a rookie who still has some glimpse of potential on their roster than a guy like Mauti who has spent the majority of his career on special teams.