Many of the offseason moves reported so far this year have been unofficial, given NFL Free Agency doesn’t officially start until tomorrow, March 17. That’s not the case with the Minnesota Vikings’ latest transaction, however. Shamar Stephen has been cut and the breakup is Twitter-official.
The #Vikings have released DT Shamar Stephen.— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) March 16, 2021
EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings announced Tuesday they have released Shamar Stephen.
The defensive tackle spent six of the past seven seasons in Minnesota after he was a seventh-round draft pick in 2014 out of Connecticut.
The move helps the Vikings add a bit more salary cap space but also means Minnesota’s senior-most defensive lineman is off the roster.
The Vikings now have Michael Pierce, Armon Watts and James Lynch as defensive tackles under contract for 2021. Minnesota cannot add free agents until the start of the new league year, which is set to open at 3 p.m. (CT) Wednesday.Minnesota Vikings Release
Releasing DT Shamar Stephen would technically immediately create $3.09 million of salary-cap room for the #Vikings since it would shave off $3.75 million on Stephen's deal and he would be displaced on the top 51 by a player with a cap number of $660,000.— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) March 16, 2021
The current objective to this offseason game, is saving money to spend it later. This is just the latest way Rick and Rob are accomplishing the former half of that equation. They’re also in the midst of re-working deals with Adam Thielen and Harrison Smith, one of which is nearing completion. What the Vikings will do with this money is yet to be seen but they have plenty of needs.
Signing Vigil and Tomlinson on Monday night was a step in the right direction. Still, this is a team that has HEAVY needs on the offensive line, defensive line and in the secondary. Granted, not all of those things need to be fixed via free agency… but NOTHING about the draft is guaranteed so anything you don’t fix now is at risk of being a soft spot next season.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan