Minnesota Vikings: 5 players who could be in final season with team

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) Shamar Stephen
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) Shamar Stephen /
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Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings
Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders tackled against the Minnesota Vikings (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /

Minnesota Vikings Player No. 4: DT Shamar Stephen

The Minnesota Vikings signed defensive tackle Shamar Stephen during the 2019 offseason. The team originally drafted him back in 2014, and he spent a season with the Seattle Seahawks after his rookie contract expired.

Stephen’s return to the team wasn’t exactly memorable. He mustered just 21 tackles with two tackles for a loss and a sack. He was once a solid run defender but seemed to get pushed around quite easily last season.

The Vikings actually have pretty good depth at defensive tackle. They brought in Michael “The Juggernaut” Pierce to take over Linval Joseph’s role at nose tackle. Behind him, they have Jaleel Johnson and, along with Stephen, those three make up the run stuffers.

On the roster, there are also more pass-rushing types like Armon Watts, rookie James Lynch, Hercules Mata’afa and Jalyn Holmes. The Vikings would love to create more interior pressure this season and could choose to keep more of the interior rushers instead of the run stuffers.

If they go that route, they could look at Stephen’s $5 million a season cap hit, and decide he’s cut worthy.

It’s quite possible we’ve already seen Stephen’s final year with the team and he could be battling Johnson this preseason for his job.