5 Vikings players who shouldn’t be back for the 2023 season

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) C.J. Ham /

C.J. Ham – FB

As a native of Duluth, Minnesota, C.J. Ham is always going to have a soft spot in the hearts of Vikings fans. But some tough decisions need to be made by Minnesota this offseason, and it’s best if they let Ham go find a team that can utilize him better in their offense.

During the Mike Zimmer era when the Vikings had a more conservative approach on offense, Ham was a perfect fit. But with Kevin O’Connell now running an offensive strategy that is more centered around the team’s passing attack, Minnesota doesn’t really have much use for a fullback anymore.

Just look at how much Ham’s playing time on offense changed in 2022. From 2019 to 2021, he was on the field for at least 33 percent of the Vikings’ offensive snaps in each season. Under O’Connell in 2022, Ham’s offensive snaps dropped all the way down to just 15 percent.

Cutting Ham this year can clear up more than $3 million in cap space for Minnesota, but it’s not even really about the money saved when it comes to moving on from him. Keeping the veteran fullback around for the 2023 season isn’t really that fair to him when there are still a few teams around the NFL that could make better use of his skills as a blocker in their rushing attack.