The Minnesota Vikings have decided to adjust their defensive line. The team announced that they have signed defensive end Jordan Brailford. To make room for Brailford, the Vikings have cut Hercules Mata’afa.
Adding Brailford helps solidify a position of need for the Vikings. With Danielle Hunter potentially being lost for the season, the Vikings certainly need to continue adding to their DE rotation. Yannick Ngakoue – who has five sacks in five games – has certainly had some great moments. Ifeadi Odenigbo has been up and down, though. After the two starters, the Vikings have relied on Jalyn Holmes and fourth-round rookie D.J. Wonnum (who we’ve been high on).
Choosing to cut Mata’afa may have as much to do with his inability to assert himself as it does with James Lynch‘s development. Lynch clearly jumped above Mata’afa on the depth chart since he was on the active roster in Week 5. Lynch even got a sack on Russell Wilson. The Vikings really don’t have a penetrating, pass rush specialist from 3T. Jaleel Johnson and Shamar Stephen have limited upside in the pass rush, and Armon Watts hasn’t progressed as quickly as coaches/fans would have hoped.
All these factors likely played into the Vikings’ decision to adjust their defensive line.