5 Vikings who could be cut before playing a snap with the team in 2024

Minnesota Vikings WR Trent Sherfield
Minnesota Vikings WR Trent Sherfield / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

The Minnesota Vikings were busy this offseason. They saw a lot of players leave in free agency but also brought in an abundance of new faces. Those new faces are exciting for the team and the fans to become familiar with, but the sad truth is that not all who were signed will make the final 53-man roster.

This happens every single season and it's a fun exercise to try and predict who are the ones who could be released before ever playing a meaningful snap. Last year, linebacker Troy Reeder was one of these players, as was wide receiver Kendall Wright many seasons ago and cornerback Nate Hairston back in 2022.

There are various reasons why these players may not stick with the club. Maybe the team decides to go with a youth movement at a certain position, or maybe the guy they were brought in to replace finally starts showing that potential, or maybe that new face just isn't fitting into the Vikings scheme the way the team envisioned.

That being said, here are five current members of the Vikings who could be cut before ever playing a meaningful down for the team.

Minnesota Vikings who could be cut before playing a snap with the team

Jerry Tillery - DL

Jerry Tillery was signed by the Vikings a few days into free agency. He was a former first-round pick who has not come close to living up to that billing. The Chargers took him with the 28th pick in 2019 and got 98 tackles, 10.5 sacks, and 12 tackles for a loss through four seasons before giving up on him.

Tillery then jumped to the division rival Raiders and played in 25 games, up 31 tackles and two sacks. Tillery hasn't been a total bust, as he does muster some sort of production every year, but much more was expected of him. He comes to the Vikings in a good situation and will be penciled in as a starter as camp commences, but just because he's penciled in doesn't mean that will turn into ink.

Tillery will have to compete with fellow veterans Jonathan Bullard and Jonah Williams for a job. He'll also have to contend with Jaquelin Roy, who is looking to take a jump in year two. The team is also very high on seventh-round pick Levi Drake-Rodriguez, and he'll be in the mix.

The Vikings only kept five defensive linemen last year, and with Harrison Phillips a lock to make the team, one of these guys will be on the outside looking in. The odd man out could be Tillery if he doesn't impress in camp.

Kamu Grugier-Hill - ILB

The Vikings signed veteran inside linebacker Kamu Grugier-HIll back in March. He was primarily brought in to play special teams, but also provides experience at linebacker. The depth chart ahead of him is set with Blake Cashman and Ivan Pace Jr. manning the middle, it's the rest of the pecking order that needs to be figured out.

Brian Asamoah is in his third season with the team and has underwhelmed after being a third-round pick back in 2022. Undrafted linebacker Dallas Gant has the speed and length to be a force and he is generating a lot of buzz prior to the rookies reporting to camp. These two young players will be Grugier-HIll's primary competition.

Grugier-Hill has to be on his game to earn a spot on this roster. If he shows an understanding of the defense and makes plays in practice and the exhibition games, he should be able to beat out both of the young backers that make up his competition. If he struggles to learn Flores' scheme or seems to have lost a step at age 29, he'll be sent packing before accumulating a stat with the Vikings.

Trent Sherfield - WR

Wide receiver will be one of the more hotly contested battles in Vikings camp this year. This battle won't be at the top, though, as Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, and Brandon Powell are locks to make the roster. The next two spots on the depth chart are where it gets interesting.

Trent Sherfield was signed late in free agency to provide some veteran depth. He's accustomed to being the fourth or fifth receiver on a team and has made a living doing just that. He only plays a handful of snaps but makes plays when needed, providing maybe a dozen catches a season.

It's good to have a reliable player like that who understands their role, but it's even better to have a young player with loads of upside. The Vikings have a lot of those guys at the receiver position and any one of them could make the team.

This year, there's Devron Harper, Jeshaun Jones, and Ty James. They'll battle unproven young players from last year, like Malik Knowles, Thayer Thomas, and Lucky Jackson. Then there's also Trishton Jackson, N'Keal Harry, and Jalen Nailor to contend with.

Sherfield currently is the fourth option on the Vikings receiver depth chart. However, if a couple of those guys emerge in camp, the Vikings won't be afraid to go with them and say goodbye to the veteran before he can ever register a reception in Minnesota.

John Parker Romo - K

This is the easiest one to predict and the one that is the most likely to happen. The Vikings signed John Parker Romo fairly early in free agency, and it was a bit of a head-scratching move. There were plenty of veteran free-agent kickers on the roster, but the Vikings decided to sign a guy who never has attempted a field goal in the NFL.

Romo had success in the XFL and even briefly held their record for longest field goal made, but had only taken part in tryouts for various NFL clubs.

Despite all that, it was looking like it would be his job to lose, but then the draft rolled around. The Vikings used a sixth-round pick on Alabama kicker Will Reichard. He holds the NCAA record for points scored and has a strong and accurate leg.

Indeed, he hasn't attempted a kick in the NFL either, but the fact the team thought highly enough to use a draft pick on him shows that he's the front-runner to win the gig.

The only way Romo wins the job is if he's perfect in practice and preseason games. In turn, Reichard would have to be god-awful and miss just about all of his attempts. That seems unlikely to happen, just like Romo making a kick for the Vikings in a game that matters.

Jihad Ward - EDGE

There's a good camp battle brewing down the Vikings edge depth chart this preseason, and Jihad Ward will be in the thick of it. Jonathan Greenard, Andrew Van Ginkel, and Dallas Turner are all locks to make the team. Patrick Jones II is probably in as well after a solid finish to his 2023 season, and that leaves one, maybe two, spots open on the depth chart.

Ward is a talented and experienced player who is coming off a five-sack season. However, the Vikings have some young players on the team they could decide to go with instead.

Andre Carter II has freakish size and made the team last year. If he starts to show some improvement in year two, it'll be difficult for the team to let him go. Gabriel Murphy was an undrafted find this year who is already generating Ivan Pace-like buzz. If he makes the team as many project, Ward could be the odd man out.

One has to remember that Flores really likes to stockpile his safeties, and if that happens again in 2024, the edge position could lose a spot. If it comes down to just five being kept, Ward could end up never suiting up for the Vikings.

More Vikings News and Analysis