Vikings cut Mannion, Mond, keep just two quarterbacks
But Mannion on Wednesday could join the 16-man practice squad
MINNEAPOLIS — Throughout spring drills, training camp and the first two games of the preseason, Sean Mannion and Kellen Mond battled to be the Vikings’ backup quarterback. As it turns out, neither even made the 53-man roster.
The Vikings cut both players Tuesday as they got down to the NFL regular-season roster limit. However, a source said Mannion could be signed Wednesday to the 16-man practice squad.
After Mannion and Mond were inconsistent in the first two exhibition games, the Vikings on Aug. 22 acquired Nick Mullens to be their backup behind Kirk Cousins. And in last Saturday’s preseason finale at Denver, nothing changed with Mannion or Mond to lead Minnesota to keep three quarterbacks, rather than two, on the initial 53-man roster.
The Vikings made a flurry of moves Tuesday, including releasing or waiving 22 players and making two trades. The biggest surprise was when they waived Armon Watts, who was first on the depth chart at defensive end, and acquired defensive lineman Ross Blacklock and a 2023 seventh-round pick from Houston for a 2023 sixth-round selection. That move saved them $1.2 million on the salary cap.
The other trade wasn’t a surprise. The Vikings dealt veteran guard Jesse Davis, who had lost the starting job at right guard to rookie Ed Ingram, to Pittsburgh for a conditional 2025 seventh-round pick. That move saved the Vikings $1.25 million on the cap.
When the moves were done, it meant defensive lineman Esezi Otomewo, a fifth-round pick from the University of Minnesota, had made the roster. So had punter Ryan Wright and edge rusher Luiji Vilain, both undrafted rookies.
Mond was a third-round draft pick in 2021 out of Texas A&M and got in for three snaps in one game as a Minnesota rookie. He never developed the way the Vikings had hoped, and his cause was not helped when Kwesi Adofo-Mensah took over as general manager in January from Rick Spielman, who had drafted Mond.
Mannion is entering his eighth NFL season. He was Cousins’ backup the past three seasons, and worked well with the starter in meetings.
A source said Mannion is willing to continue working with Cousins while on the practice squad if he’s not signed by another team to the 53-man roster. Mannion has $277,200 of his $1.12 million base salary guaranteed, which is the same amount he would earn if he spends all of 2022 on the practice squad.
The Vikings waived six players who had been selected in the 2021 draft with Spielman in charge. That included three of the four taken in the third round, with linebacker Chazz Surratt and guard Wyatt Davis being let go in addition to Mond. The only remaining player on the 53-man roster from that third round is edge rusher Patrick Jones II.
The Vikings also waived from 2021 edge rusher Janarius Robinson, a fourth-round pick, tight end Zach Davidson, a fifth-round selection, and defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman, who went in the sixth round. The Vikings are expected to sign some of the waived players from the 2021 draft as well as other players they let let go to the practice squad,
Twyman sat out last season after being wounded when he was shot four times in his native Washington D.C. in June 2021. He was aware entering Tuesday that being on the practice squad was a possibility, and he vowed to “keep working” in his comeback.
Also cut Tuesday was linebackers Blake Lynch, who started six games last season, and Zach McCloud and William Kwenkeu, wide receivers Dan Chisena and Trishton Jackson, safeties Myles Dorn and Mike Brown, cornerbacks Nate Hairston and Parry Nickerson, defensive lineman T.J. Smith, guard Kyle Hinton, running back Bryant Koback, center Josh Sokol and tight end Nick Muse.
Muse was the only player from Minnesota’s 2022 draft class to be waived. Muse, taken in the seventh round, is expected to join the practice squad.
The Vikings also announced the reaching of an injury settlement with defensive lineman Jullian Taylor, who was waived last week and revered to injured reserve.
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