Shamar Stephen – DT
It’s hard to understand why the Vikings seem to be so obsessed with Shamar Stephen. Minnesota’s coaches raved about him prior to last season and it was followed up with an underwhelming performance from Stephen.
The 29-year-old defensive tackle spent the first four seasons of his career with the Vikings and he seemed to be progressing along nicely. The Seattle Seahawks were clearly impressed with what Stephen had done during his first four years and they signed him in 2018 to be one of their two starting defensive tackles.
His contract with the Seahawks was for only one season, so in 2019 he had the opportunity to sign with another team once again. Instead of landing with a totally new franchise, Stephen made his way back to Minnesota and signed a three-year, $12.45 million deal to suit back up in purple.
Last season, he was on the field for 53 percent of the Vikings’ defensive snaps and he was a starter for 15 of the team’s games. Despite being a member of Minnesota’s starting defense last year, Stephen only finished with 21 tackles, including just two that resulted in a loss for the opposing offense.
He also only generated a total of two quarterback pressures, which went along nicely with his one sack. From a production standpoint, Stephen was a massive disappointment for the Vikings in 2019.
Heading into this year’s training camp, some felt his spot on Minnesota’s 2020 roster could be in a bit of jeopardy. But with Michael Pierce’s decision to opt-out for the season, it would probably be more surprising at this point if Stephen was left of the Vikings final roster this year.
If he does end up on Minnesota’s regular-season roster, hopefully, he can actually prove to everyone why his coaches love having him on the field so much.