No surprises among Vikings roster cuts

  • Updated: September 1, 2013 - 12:06 AM

But don’t count on Antoine Winfield’s return after the veteran corner was cut by the Seahawks.

The Vikings pared their roster to 53 players on Saturday, but the buzz over speculation that Pro Bowl cornerback Antoine Winfield might return home for one final season proved to be short-lived.

The Vikings revealed no major surprises in their roster cuts announced shortly after the league’s 5 p.m. deadline. But much to the disappointment of fans, their roster won’t include Winfield, who has decided to retire after being released by Seattle, according to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.

Reports Saturday morning that Seattle planned to release Winfield prompted speculation that he possibly could play one final season with the Vikings, his employer the past nine seasons.

The Vikings released Winfield last winter because he was due $7.25 million this season. The team subsequently tried to re-sign him at a lower price, but Winfield accepted a one-year deal with Seattle.

The Seahawks, however, have a group of young and talented cornerbacks who were ahead of Winfield on the depth chart. At age 36, Winfield also was dealing with a sore knee this preseason and decided to retire after 14 seasons rather than attempt to continue his career.

The Vikings, meanwhile, released 19 players, most notably wide receiver Stephen Burton and defensive end D’Aundre Reed.

Burton was an early surprise in camp, but he could not sustain that momentum and finished behind Joe Webb in their competition for the fifth wide receiver spot.

The coaching staff faced an interesting decision with Webb, the former quarterback who changed positions this season. Though still fairly raw as a receiver, Webb is a terrific athlete who gives the team some versatility on special teams.

There was some speculation that the Vikings might only keep two quarterbacks if Webb made the team because he could play quarterback in an emergency situation. But McLeod Bethel-Thompson survived cuts as the third quarterback.

Undrafted rookie fullback Zach Line began training camp as a long shot. But Jerome Felton’s three-game suspension by the NFL opened the door for Line, who impressed the coaching staff with a strong preseason. Line could split snaps with tight end Rhett Ellison at fullback in Felton’s absence.

The Vikings also faced some intriguing roster decisions on defense. With a logjam at linebacker, the Vikings decided to keep eight, including rookie draft picks Gerald Hodges and Mike Mauti.

Veteran free agent Desmond Bishop also made the team after a slow start to camp because of a groin injury. Bishop looked far more comfortable in the final two preseason games and could overtake Marvin Mitchell as the starter at outside linebacker.

The Vikings enter the season remarkably young and thin in the secondary, which is why the Winfield speculation made sense. Their top three cornerbacks — Chris Cook, Xavier Rhodes and Josh Robinson — have combined for 24 career starts.

Marcus Sherels won a job for the third consecutive season after producing a 109-yard kickoff return and an interception in the final preseason game Thursday night. Sherels had competed with Bobby Felder for the punt returner job and fifth cornerback spot in training camp. Felder was released and appears to be a candidate for the practice squad.

The Vikings will announce their eight-man practice squad Sunday. The team also could tweak its 53-man roster after scanning the waiver wire before players return to Winter Park on Monday to begin preparations for the opener in Detroit.

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  • Stephen Burton, making a play Thursday night against Tennessee, became the odd man out in the Vikings wide receiver corps, as the team elected to keep converted quarterback Joe Webb on the roster instead.

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Cleveland 4 Suspended
Kansas City 2
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NY Yankees - M. Pineda
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Toronto - J. Happ
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt 6:08 PM
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Atlanta - A. Harang
Houston - N. Tropeano 7:05 PM
Texas - D. Holland
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Chicago Cubs - T. Wood
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San Francisco - J. Peavy 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - D. Haren
Colorado - T. Matzek 9:10 PM
San Diego - E. Stults
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Buffalo 10
Dallas 34 FINAL
St. Louis 31
Washington 34 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
Houston 17 FINAL
NY Giants 30
Minnesota 9 FINAL
New Orleans 20
Tennessee 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 33
Baltimore 23 FINAL
Cleveland 21
Green Bay 7 FINAL
Detroit 19
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Jacksonville 17
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New England 16
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Pittsburgh 20
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Syracuse 20
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Duke 47
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Colorado 21
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Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
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SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
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Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
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FIU 3
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Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
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Illinois 42
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Penn State 48
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Southern Miss 21
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(17) LSU 29
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Arkansas 52
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Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
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Toledo 34
(13) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
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Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(21) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
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(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
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Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
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(9) Michigan State
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SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
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Rutgers
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(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
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California
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Fla Atlantic
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Air Force
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Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
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Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
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Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
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