For the third year in a row, the Vikings made a trade while cutting their roster down to 53 players. And while the deal they struck Friday night was nowhere near as momentous as last year's move for Sam Bradford, it could provide another option at a position where the Vikings have some depth questions.
According to an NFL source, the Vikings sent a seventh-round pick to Seattle for former Gophers defensive back Tramaine Brock, who had signed a one-year, $980,000 deal with the Seahawks last month. The 49ers had released him after he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence in April, but Brock signed with Seattle after the case was dismissed.
The Vikings had expressed interest in Brock after his case was dismissed, but he was in the middle of his visit to Seattle at the time. He has been an outside corner for much of his career but could begin his time in Minnesota at nickel, where second-year player Mackensie Alexander still needs to prove he can handle the job.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson found Doug Baldwin for a 37-yard gain in front of Alexander in the Vikings' second preseason game, and Thursday night, when most of the Vikings' starters sat out the final preseason game, Alexander played 39 of the team's 64 defensive snaps. He drew a taunting penalty after a third-down incompletion, which gave Miami first-and-goal on the Vikings 6 and set up a touchdown.
"I don't think it was very good," coach Mike Zimmer said of the penalty, adding, "We had a little discussion about that."
Brock played the 2008 season at safety for the Gophers, transferring to the university after playing two years at safety for Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. He left Minnesota after one season, following a suspension for failing to qualify academically.
The 5-foot-10 Brock started 31 of the 49ers' past 32 regular-season games, and intercepted a career-high five passes in 2013.
Vikings cut 12
After an NFL rule change allowed teams to keep 90 players through all four preseason games, the Vikings spent Friday making their first moves in advance of Saturday afternoon's deadline for teams to set their 53-man rosters.
According to NFL sources, the Vikings released running back Terrell Newby, wide receiver Moritz Bohringer, tight end Josiah Price, offensive linemen T.J. Clemmings and Freddie Tagaloa, defensive linemen Will Sutton, Chunky Clements and Sam McCaskill, linebacker Noor Davis and cornerbacks Jabari Price, Sam Brown and Tre Roberson.
Clemmings (a fourth-round pick in 2015) started 30 games for the Vikings the past two seasons, after Phil Loadholt's torn Achilles' tendon made Clemmings the starting right tackle in 2015 and myriad injuries pressed him into service at both right and left tackle last season. The Vikings had moved him to guard after two uneven seasons, and decided to release him Friday.
They also ended their experiment with Bohringer, whom a league source said is unlikely to receive a spot on the team's practice squad. The Vikings drafted the German wide receiver in the sixth round a year ago, making him the first player to go directly from Europe to the NFL draft. Bohringer, though, struggled to get up to speed in the NFL and was buried on the depth chart by his second training camp.
Price, a seventh-round pick in 2014, played 14 games as a rookie but started 2015 on a two-game suspension after an arrest for drunken driving at the end of the 2014 season. A shoulder injury in 2015 and a knee injury in 2016 landed him on injured reserve in both seasons.