5 players the Vikings should cut before their 2024 training camp

Minnesota Vikings RB DeWayne McBride
Minnesota Vikings RB DeWayne McBride / David Berding/GettyImages

The Minnesota Vikings have made it through the offseason, OTAs, and mini-camps and are now resting up as they prepare for the 2024 NFL season. The roster is overflowing with players, but only 53 of them will call themselves Minnesota Vikings this September.

Many of these players will be in heated battles for a roster spot. Those contests will make training camp interesting, but there are players that the Vikings, their fans, and the media all know aren't going to make this team. Their release is as inevitable as the Mad Titan Thanos, and it's only a matter of time before they get the pink slip.

So, instead of waiting for that fateful day, Minnesota should just cut them now and give their reps to players who have a shot to make the team or be a member of the practice squad. Here are five players who the Vikings might as well just release right now.

5 players the Minnesota Vikings should cut before training camp

John Parker Romo - K

The moment the Vikings drafted former Alabama kicker Will Reichard earlier this year, the writing was on the wall for John Parker Romo.

No matter how good Romo kicks in training camp, there's no way Minnesota is going to keep a kicker who has never attempted a kick in the league over a kicker they invested a sixth-round choice on. Everyone knows this will be the eventual outcome of this battle, so why let it linger on?

It's a little surprising that Romo is still on the roster. The Vikings had a kicking battle back in 2022 when they signed undrafted rookie Gabe Brkic to compete with Greg Joseph. Minnesota ended up letting Brkic go prior to the start of training camp. Romo has made it farther than him, but last year, it was Jack Podlesny who was cut in the middle of camp, ending his reign with the Vikings.

This will be the outcome for Romo, so Minnesota might as well rip the Band-Aid off now. It would make sense to give all the kicking reps to Reichard and allow him, his holder, and long snapper to 100 percent be on the same page before the start of the 2024 season.

DeWayne McBride - RB

DeWayne McBride was a seventh-round pick of the Vikings in 2023. He was deemed by many draft analysts to be a steal and someone to watch in the preseason.

He had a crazy productive college career at UAB, with some ball protection issues being his only flaw. Many thought he had a chance to earn carries as a rookie with Minnesota.

That narrative quickly came to an end after McBride got a few carries in the preseason. He ran with fear, turning his shoulder as he hit the line of scrimmage. He seemed to run without the vision, power, or instincts that made him productive in college.

It was an unexpected turn of events and the fact he still made the Vikings practice squad was actually a bit of a miracle in itself.

There's no reason for Minnesota to hang on to McBride because any available free-agent running back can provide better or, at worst, the same level of play that McBride can.

He doesn't possess many redeeming qualities, and the Vikings are better off investing their time and energy with someone who could end up earning a role on the team in 2024.

Lewis Cine - S

Lewis Cine's NFL career has gone worse than imagined. He broke his leg his first year, then he came back for year two and he wound up landing lower on the depth chart than an undrafted free-agent and didn't see any playing time. There are rumblings that he is struggling to understand the nuances of the defense and has been heavily rumored to be on the cutting block.

Anyone with any betting sense would put money on the fact that Cine isn't going to make the final 53-man roster. If we break down the safety depth chart, it's pretty clear he's the odd man out.

Harrison Smith and Cam Bynum are the starters with Theo Jackson and Jay Ward as the primary backups. Behind them is Najee Thompson, who is new to the position but has already earned his stripes as a big-time special teamer.

Josh Metellus also has to be factored in here. He's a versatile defender without a true position but would be inserted in as a safety if one of the starters were to be injured. That puts Cine at No. 7 on the depth chart.

Brian Flores loves keeping safeties, but seven is too high a number even for him, which means Cine is the odd man out.

It's going to happen, so the Vikings should just cut the cord now and let Cine catch on with a team whose safety depth chart isn't so jammed-packed with talent.

Andrew Booth Jr. - CB

Andrew Booth Jr. has had plenty of time to catch on and earn a spot with the Vikings but can't seem to get on the field. As a rookie, he was injured and was slow to catch on, appearing in just six games, and making 12 total tackles. In year two, he was active for every game and even started one, but only had eight tackles and one pass breakup.

He still has an outside chance to make the team, but the issue is the Vikings now have more intriguing options to pursue.

They used a fourth-round pick on Khyree Jackson, who has a rare blend of size, length, and speed. They also signed Dwight McGlothern after the draft who has looked impressive in minicamp, and they have Jaylin Williams returning, who showed promise as an undrafted free agent rookie a year ago.

These are players who have just as much talent, if not more, than Booth and have a higher upside. The Vikings already know what Booth brings to the table, and it isn't great.

Why not invest the energy of the coaching staff in these other guys and let Booth go now, knowing his future with the team is very much in doubt?

Jaren Hall - QB

Do the Vikings need to keep four quarterbacks on the roster? That's the big question as camp looms on the horizon, and it's a good one.

Sam Darnold was signed to be the bridge quarterback and is likely going to be the starter. J.J. McCarthy is the future, and Nick Mullens is a turnover machine but can throw for yards and touchdowns. Jaren Hall is young and not very good, as evidenced in last year's meltdown against the Green Bay Packers at home on New Year's Eve.

So why would it make sense to take valuable reps away from the quarterback you drafted with a top-10 pick to be your future for a guy who, at best, will end up as a career backup in the NFL? It doesn't.

The Vikings should roll with three quarterbacks. Darnold and McCarthy should battle to be the No. 1, with Mullens taking second and third-team reps. Hall doesn't need to be taking snaps away from McCarthy and the offensive coaches shouldn't be wasting their time teaching a guy whose ceiling is the practice squad.

Hall does have some positive traits and could carve out a lengthy career for himself in the NFL as a backup. Minnesota, at this time, just isn't the place to cultivate that.

They've finally got a guy to be their future star at the position and need to invest every single coaching asset they have into making sure he reaches that level. Hall will take away from that and should be let go as soon as possible.

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