The Minnesota Vikings made a difficult decision on Tuesday afternoon when they made the necessary roster cuts to 75.
The Vikings elected to part ways with longtime center John Sullivan after seven year with the team (per Zac Jackson of Pro Football Talk). The team also had reportedly looked to trade Sullivan before the roster deadline but were unable to find a partner.
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Sullivan had started 93 games for the Vikings over the past six seasons, after being a reserve during his first season. He was a strong center for the team and helped to lock down the position. He was a key cog in the run blocking for Adrian Peterson and he was long considered to be one of the top centers in the league.
However, Sullivan ran into trouble after missing 2015 with a back injury. While he was out, veteran Joe Berger played the center position and played extremely well. Berger is actually older than Sullivan at age 33, but he has played less. While he has played 115 games, Berger has only started 54 between 2005 and 2015. He has been on the field less than Sullivan and he was coming off of his full season as a starter.
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Unfortunately, Berger's performance did push Sullivan off the roster. Sullivan was just making too much money to be a backup, so he had to be released. Still, he should be able to catch on with another team because of his talent level.
The team that comes to mind as needing a center is the Washington Redskins. The Redskins recently attempted to trade with the New England Patriots for Bryan Stork, but the deal fell through due to a failed physical. Sullivan would be an immediate upgrade over Kory Lichtensteiger as a starter. He also would improve the pass blocking for the team, and that will greatly help Kirk Cousins.
Regardless of what happens, the Vikings will miss Sullivan. On the field, they will not miss much. But he was a leader off the field. In the wake of Teddy Bridgewater's awful injury, the Vikings will need someone to step up. Sullivan will not be there to do that.