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.


Veterans Farwell, Dugan discuss being cut today

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, Ex-Vikings, Chris Kluwe, Heath Farwell, Kevin Williams Updated: September 3, 2011 - 12:53 PM

The first somewhat of a surprise on Vikings cutdown day just arrived when Heath Farwell's release was tweeted by punter Chris Kluwe.

"Thanks, Kluwe," Farwell, a seven-year veteran, managed to joke when I caught up with him by phone.

About an hour later, tight end Jeff Dugan, an eight-year veteran, confirmed he had been cut as well.

"I guess it's disappointing, but it's part of the business and something your sign up for when you get into this business," Dugan said. "You know every year, the team is going to go out and get young guys and bring them in to take your job. Turnover in the NFL is like 40 percent of the roster or some crazy number.

"It's been fun. I loved playing in Minnesota. But it's time to move on."

Dugan joined the team as a seventh-round draft pick in 2004. His release means undrafted free agent Allen Reisner probably has made the team.

Farwell, meanwhile, made the team as an undrafted rookie in 2005. He and Dugan were mainstays on special teams over the years. Farwell made the Pro Bowl as a special teamer two years ago.

"Yeah, it was a surprise," Farwell said of being cut. "But it's part of the business. I understand. I've been here long enough to know the business. But there's no question in my mind that I will be picked up by someone. My career is not over."

Farwell, who was due to make $1.75 million this year, battled a hamstring injury during the preseason. So his releasae isn't entirely unexpected. His release could mean the team has decided to keep undrafted rookie free agent Larry Dean, last year's NCAA D-II Defensive Player of the Year.

"It hurts, I can't deny that," Farwell said. "Believe me, it hurts. I have a lot of respect for the Wilf family, the organization and the coaching staff."

Other players cut or reportedly cut so far include:defensive ends Stylez White and David Akinniyi; defensive tackle Tremaine Johnson; receivers Jaymar Johnson, Stephen Burton, Juaquin Iglesias and Emmanuel Arceneaux; guard Byron Isom; cornerback Devon Torrence; safety Ryan Hill; running backs Tristan Davis and Alexander Robinson; linebackers Ross Homan; and both fullbacks, Ryan D’Imperio and Matt Asiata.

The deadline for cuts is 5 p.m. The Vikings get a roster exemption for the suspended Kevin Williams, so they have to be down to 54 players. They also might place Jasper Brinkley (hip) on injured reserve.

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