The 2018 Minnesota Vikings are a younger team than the club that ended their season in the NFC championship game in January.
How much younger? Every player on the current active roster is under the age of 30. That could be happenstance, or it could be design: Assemble a group of talented young athletes and open the Super Bowl window as wide as possible for as long as possible.
The Vikings trimmed their roster to the league-limit of 53 players on Saturday, with three veterans leaving the team. Released are eleven-year veteran defensive end Brian Robison, 35, and free agent wide receiver Kendall Wright, 28. Defensive back Terence Newman, who turns 40 on Tuesday, retired as a player and joined head coach Mike Zimmer’s staff. Newman’s playing career lasted 16 years and he spent much of his career with Zimmer, who coached Newman in Dallas and Cincinnati before Newman joined the Vikings in 2015. Newman picked off 42 passes in 16 years.
Center Pat Elflein returns to the active roster from the PUP list, but he is not expected to play until Week 2 at Green Bay.
Other players released Saturday are WR Korey Robertson, WR Cayleb Jones, WR Jake Wieneke, QB Peter Pujals, LB Antwione Williams, G Kaleb Jones, G Kareem Are, T Dieugot Joseph, CB Trevon Mathis, RB Kobe McCray, FB Luke McNitt, LB Mike Needham, C JP Quinn, LB Brett Taylor, OL Josh Andews, TE Tyler Hoppes, WR Jeff Badet, WR Chad Beebe, TE Blake Bell, RB Mack Brown, LB Reshard Cliett, DT Curtis Cothran, LB Garret Dooley, C Cornelius Edison, G Colby Gossett, CB Craig James, WR Tavarres King, S Tray Matthews, T Storm Norton, DE Ifeadi Odenigbo, CB Horace Richardson, S Jack Tocho and DE Jonathan Wynn.
The Vikings will attempt to re-sign some of the players released on Saturday to the practice squad. Odennigbo and Beebe, who had strong preseasons, are likely practice-squad targets. Teams can claim practice squad candidates of other teams, but once claimed, those teams must place pilfered players on their active rosters.