Before Asher Allen unexpectedly retired last week, a whopping 10 percent of the team’s 90-man offseason roster was devoted to the cornerback position, which has become a major weakness for the franchise in recent years.
And now that Allen has gone, the Vikings have gotten back up to nine corners by signing former Stanford cornerback Corey Gatewood. The team announced the move on Monday.
Gatewood brings a special kind of inside information to the table, in preparation for the team’s Week Two game against Gatewood’s former college teammate, Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. Gatewood arrived in Palo Alto as a running back, but then switched to cornerback. He played corner until late in the 2010 season, when he was moved to receiver. He stayed at receiver until being moved back to corner midway through the 2011 season.
So he has practiced with and against Luck, running routes for him and figuring out how to try to stop him. If Gatewood can make the cut from 90 to 53 in Minnesota, it could be useful intelligence as the Vikings, who open with the Jags at home and then travel to Indy, could turn the page on a disappointing 3-13 season by starting 2-0.
That said, if the Vikings plan for replacing Allen consists solely of signing a cornerback who previously was unemployed at a time when nearly 2,900 players have NFL jobs, their best shot at 2-0 will come only in the preseason.