Free agent defensive end Caesar Rayford announced on Facebook that he is joining the Vikings, though if Rayford has indeed signed, it has yet to pop up on the NFL’s official transaction wire.
After spending the 2014 season in the Arena Football League and the Canadian Football League, Rayford, 29, was one of 105 players invited to the NFL’s inaugural veteran’s combine last month.
Rayford, who is listed at 6-foot-7 and 285 pounds, went undrafted out of Washington in 2008. He played in the CFL and AFL before signing with the Colts in 2013. He ended up playing for the Cowboys that season and made five tackles in 144 defensive snaps over seven games.
After he was cut by the Cowboys following the 2014 preseason, Rayford had stints with the Jacksonville Sharks of the AFL and the Calgary Stampeders and Montreal Alouettes of the CFL.
We’ll let you know if the Rayford move becomes official. After all, today is April Fools’ Day.
Initial reports Wednesday that Cowboys QB Tony Romo had restructured his contract to clear cap space seemed like an April Fools’ joke. But as more outlets reported it, the skepticism gave way to serious speculation.
Per reports on Pro Football Talk, among others including the Dallas Morning News, the reworking of Romo’s deal frees up $12.8 million in cap space for Dallas in 2015.
Almost too conveniently, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson — rumored to be sought by Dallas and known to be unhappy with Minnesota — is set to earn a salary of $12.75 million next season.
This could just be a coincidence, as Dallas was hard up against the cap before and might have needed help from Romo — who isn’t taking a pay cut, just moving money around — just to sign draft picks and other lesser free agents.
But even the Dallas Morning News makes the Peterson connection: “The Cowboys haven’t pursued a trade for Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, but if that were to present itself, they now have more salary cap space to work with after the Romo restructure. A source close to Peterson has said the running back won’t take a pay cut to change teams.”
Will the dots connect? We’ll see. But deferring money with Romo is a sign Dallas is gearing up for a short-term run at a title, and those who argued the Cowboys didn’t have the cap space to do a deal for Peterson will have to come up with another reason it won’t happen.
The Vikings have signed free agent quarterback Mike Kafka, per his agent, Mike McCartney.
Kafka, who has not thrown an NFL pass since 2011, spent last season with the Buccaneers.
The 27-year-old was a fourth-round pick of the Eagles in 2010. He has spent time with four NFL teams, including the Patriots and Jaguars. His only regular-season action came in 2011, when he completed 11 of 16 attempts for 107 yards with two interceptions over four games with the Eagles.
Kafka is from Chicago and played his college ball at Northwestern. He is 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds.
The Vikings had just three other quarterbacks on the roster in Teddy Bridgewater, Shaun Hill and Pat Devlin. Kafka will be a fourth, and the team is expected to add a rookie during or after the draft.