Last week I looked at the players who could surprise some people during training camp. Besides unexpected players who stand out, there are always those players that fizzle out. Some may lose their starting job and others may get cut all together. Who might be this year’s training camp disappointments?
Jasper Brinkley, MLB
Jasper is back with the Vikings after a short and disappointing stint with Arizona. He is back on a “prove it” deal but he may not last long. Last time he was here he failed to take advantage of a good situation. This time he has a couple of hungry young players to compete with. Audie Cole and Michael Mauti will compete with Brinkley for the starting MLB. As of now the competition is wide open but my guess is that one of them wins it. Last season Cole played very well when forced in to action and is a favorite of the fans. Mauti has the talent to play in this league if he is healthy. Unless Jasper plays out of his mind, it will be hard for him to knock out two young players that show promise. My guess he is looking for work by the time training camp is over.
Jamarca Sanford, S
There is a wide open competition for the second safety spot opposite Harrison Smith. Sanford has been in and out of the starting lineup for the past few seasons. He has never been able to get over the hump. This season shouldn’t prove any different. With guys like Antone Exum, Robert Blanton and even Kurt Coleman looking to win the job as well having the biggest cap number, he may find himself on the outside looking in. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was cut in order to make room for younger more talented players. If he is not cut, he will likely find his way in a back-up role once again.
Jerome Felton, FB
Felton had a down year after his pro bowl year in 2013. This season he may have even more working against him. First off he is a fullback who has a salary cap number over $2 million. That’s a big number consider Norv Turner’s offense won’t rely as heavily on a fullback. Lastly is the presence of Zach Line who filled in when Felton was injured. He can do a good enough job that makes Felton expendable. Based on all of that, I just don’t see him making it through preseason roster cuts.
Everson Griffen, DE
This may be the most surprising name on the list. In the case of Griffen, it’s not that he will get cut or even lose is starting job but that doesn’t mean he won’t disappoint. Everson just got paid a lot of money and he has never even been a full time player. With having to fill Jared Allen’s shoes, expectations will be sky high and most likely impossible to fulfill. Then add in the fact that Coach Zimmer likes to use a rotation of pass rushers and you have a recipe for disappointment. I expect Griffen will have a good season but he won’t live up to the contract or expectations he just got.