Vikings reportedly releasing Xavier Rhodes and Linval Joseph

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Xavier Rhodes
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Xavier Rhodes /

The Minnesota Vikings are beginning to free up more cap space for the 2020 offseason with the reported releases of their veteran corner and defensive tackle.

Heading into the 2020 offseason, the Minnesota Vikings knew they were going to have some big moves to make thanks to their terrible salary cap situation.

On Friday, some of these difficult decisions were made. The Vikings have announced that they’ve decided to release cornerback Xavier Rhodes and defensive tackle Linval Joseph. Both have spent the last six seasons in Minnesota.

In addition to Joseph and Rhodes, the Vikings are also parting ways with tight end David Morgan according to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero. Morgan missed all of the 2019 season with a knee injury.

As much as these decisions were painful for Minnesota to make, they were completely necessary. The Vikings will now head into free agency with around $20 million in cap space. It’s very possible they could free up even more money with additional cuts or contract restructures in the near future.

Now Minnesota must figure out who they will be choosing to replace Rhodes and Joseph in the starting lineup. Right now, Jaleel Johnson or Armon Watts could be used in place of Joseph and Mike Hughes could be the guy the Vikings select to be their new No. 1 cornerback.

Minnesota has benefitted from being able to keep the same core group of players together for the past few seasons, especially on defense. This will obviously not be the case in 2020 and it’s hard to predict what kind of effect it will have on the team’s performance next season.

There’s still a possibility that Rhodes and Joseph could re-sign with the Vikings. In Minnesota’s announcement on Friday, the team made sure to mention that they will still be keeping in contact with the two players when free agency begins next week.

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Rhodes and Joseph are two players that have defined the Vikings during the Mike Zimmer era. Now Zimmer must figure out how to carry on without them.