Vikings Part Ways With J.J. McCarthy’s Former College Teammate: Report

J.J. McCarthy, Minnesota Vikings

Getty J.J. McCarthy of the Minnesota Vikings.

The Minnesota Vikings hope J.J. McCarthy is their answer at quarterback, poised to lead them into a prominent future.

With rookie minicamp looming, the Vikings cut one of the ties to McCarthy’s past.

The Vikings will open their rookie session on May 10 and run through May 12. But former Cleveland Browns wide receiver – and McCarthy’s teammate on the Michigan Wolverines – Daylen Baldwin, is not expected to be among them.

“#Vikings cut wide receiver Daylen Baldwin per a league source,” KPRC 2’s Aaron Wilson reported on X on May 7.

Baldwin, 24, began his collegiate career at Morgan State. He then attended Jackson State before transferring to Miching. Baldwin spent the 2021 season as teammates with McCarthy, then a freshman, and went undrafted following the 2021 season.

He joined the Browns, spending most of the season on the practice squad.

Baldwin did see game action, tough. He hauled in two passes for 25 yards in a Week 15 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.

He initially signed with the Vikings last season, joining their practice squad in August. They released him in December but signed the 6-foot-2, 212-pound wideout to a one-year, $795,000 reserve/future contract on January 16.

The move was made to make room for the incoming prospects at rookie minicamp.

Baldwin could reunite with McCarthy, re-signing after the Vikings see what they have in those players and look to flesh out their roster for mandatory minicamp and then training camp in July.

Vikings Rookie Could Push for Early Playing Time

Khyree Jackson, Minnesota Vikings

GettyKhyree Jackson of the Minnesota Vikings.

The Vikings will have a host of undrafted rookies looking to earn their keep during their first minicamp. McCarthy will be the headliner. But cornerback Khyree Jackson could begin making his push for playing time.

Jackson was the No. 108 selection in the draft.

“Although the Vikings didn’t make any other changes at the position this offseason, they had an average group last season,” Bleacher Report’s David Kenyon wrote on May 3. “Jackson should have a shot to play immediately.”

The Vikings did add veteran Shaquill Griffin to a group that includes Byron Murphy and recent draft picks Akayleb Evans, Andrew Booth, and Mekhi Blackmon.

Blackmon’s 61.5% completion allowed in 2023 led incumbents, per Pro Football Reference.

Griffin’s signing has not moved the needle in many evaluations. He is coming off allowing 60.5% completion in his coverage in 2023, splitting the campaign between the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars.

That would have been the best mark on the Vikings last season.

However, it came on a career-low snap share while Griffin’s signing could prove costly for the Vikings.

Vikings Miss Out on Compensatory Picks Over $10M Free Agent Signing

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Minnesota Vikings

GettyGeneral manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah of the Minnesota Vikings.

“It appears that this will be a draft in which fewer than 32 regular compensatory picks are generated,” Over The Cap’s Nick Korte wrote on May 6. “Since the norm in recent years is to have more than 32 eligible regular compensatory picks, this means that teams were more willing than usual to cancel out comp picks in exchange for gaining talent now via unrestricted free agency.”

Korte points to Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter’s departures in free agency as keys to the formula for the Vikings. Cousins signed a four-year, $180 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons. Hunter inked a two-year, $48 million pact with the Texans.

The Vikings offered the “starkest” example of Korte’s assertion.

“The Vikings also lost several other CFAs, but were also aggressive in signing CFAs of their own to offset some of those departures,” Korte wrote. “They had at least balanced this to where the 3rd rounders for both Cousins and Hunter leaving were on the board…until they signed Shaquill Griffin to a one-year, $4.55 million contract, leaving the Vikings with a net loss of only 1 CFA.”

Korte explains that Griffin’s addition offsets the loss of Hunter. This will impact the Vikings in a class where they could have just three picks after this year’s trades. That includes for McCarthy.

Read More