Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Bryant, Coles ... and the Vikings

Posted by: under Vikings, Brett Favre, Sidney Rice, Vikings training camp Updated: August 29, 2010 - 9:46 PM

NFL teams must cut their rosters to 75 players by 3 p.m. (central time) on Tuesday. However, some clubs began making cuts Sunday.

That resulted in two veteran wide receivers being jettisoned.

The Cincinnati Bengals let go of Antonio Bryant and the New York Jets said goodbye to Laveranues Coles. Shortly after this happened I received a few Twitter and e-mail messages asking if the Vikings would pursue either. Minnesota signed veteran Javon Walker and traded with Miami for Greg Camarillo last week so certainly this is a team looking to add quality depth at receiver.

However, I'm not sure either Bryant or Coles has a chance of ending up wearing purple. The Vikings are already taking an extended look at Walker and signed him for an NFL minimum. Walker is trying to prove his surgically repaired knee is healthy and it sounds as if one reason for his presence at Winter Park is it was requested by quarterback Brett Favre -- not a bad guy to have put in a good word for you.

If the Vikings were to pursue Bryant it would mean bringing in another guy who is damaged goods and he's probably in worse shape than Walker right now. Bryant was signed by the Bengals in March after injuring his left knee twice in 2009 while with Tampa Bay. However, he spent most of training camp doing rehab and, according to Bengals beat writer Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Bryant was spotted on the practice field for the first time in nearly two weeks last Wednesday.

It sounds as if Bryant is hopeful he can play this season at some point, but that's not going to be soon. Right now, his knee needs rest and rehab. That would not help the Vikings in their quest to replace Sidney Rice over the first half of the season.

Coles, meanwhile, might be at the end of the road. He didn't put up great numbers with the Bengals last season. Coles caught 43 passes for 514 yards, his lowest output since his rookie season in 2000. Coles was a free agent during the offseason and teams did not exactly knock down his door before the Jets brought him back for a third go-around with the team.

This time his stay didn't last very long.

There does appear to be a chance the Jets might sign Coles again after Week 1 to avoid having to pay him his entire base salary, according to this report from ESPN New York.

But the 32-year-old Coles told The Star-Ledger of Newark that, "I think I'm done. I don't want to become one of those journeyman football players. I don't need the money. [Coach Rex Ryan] said I was doing well and they want to bring me back after the first game, but I don't know. I don't think that's something I want to do."

The Jets also released former Vikings wide receiver Aundrae Allison on Sunday but don't look for him to be returning to these parts. Allison isn't believed to have left the Vikings on the best of terms last year when he was cut abruptly during training camp.

Coles' age is 32, not 31. My mistake on that one. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT