5 Vikings players entering the last chance saloon in 2021

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Xavier Woods
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Xavier Woods /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports) Stephen Weatherly /

Stephen Weatherly – DE

Stephen Weatherly is no stranger to the Vikings after just one season away from the organization. But there is much work to be done for the defensive end if he wants to earn meaningful reps in 2021.

The Vikings got some solid production on a rotational basis from Weatherly, which was enough to secure a big-money move to the Carolina Panthers in free agency last year. A starting chance he simply couldn’t pass up.

Things didn’t go according to plan for the former seventh-round pick in a more prominent role and the Panthers released Weatherly one year ahead of time. Not exactly what the player or Carolina had in mind.

Being back in more familiar surroundings should aid Weatherly. A lot is riding on the new campaign for the player, who has some talented young prospects to beat out for playing time at training camp and preseason games.

Just how much Weatherly’s time in Carolina has knocked his confidence is unclear. We won’t know for sure until he takes the field.

Minnesota won’t ask too much of Weatherly, which is a role he’s probably best suited for. However, the challenge awaiting him this summer and during the upcoming campaign is a steep one.