Vikings sign Mike Needham, waive/injured Hercules Mata’afa

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Rookie defensive end Hercules Mata'afa tore his ACL in a Vikings OTA practice earlier this month and the team made a move to fill his roster spot on Wednesday.

The Vikings announced that they have signed linebacker Mike Needham. Mata’afa has been waived with an injury designation and will revert to injured reserve or receive an injury settlement if he goes unclaimed.

Needham signed with the Cardinals after going undrafted out of Southern Utah, but was waived after their rookie minicamp. Needham was named a first-team All-Big Sky player after three of his collegiate seasons and posted 100 tackles and seven tackles for loss in his final college campaign.

Needham will get his first on-field work with the Vikings when training camp opens in late July.

14 responses to “Vikings sign Mike Needham, waive/injured Hercules Mata’afa

  1. mybigthirdleg says:
    June 20, 2018 at 4:03 pm
    Stupid idea waiving Hercules.
    ————————
    Doubtful he gets claimed with a torn ACL, then he’ll revert to injured reserve…so if they want to keep him, they will…

  2. How is waiving an injured player that will then be added to IR a stupid idea? You clearly don’t know how football operations work.

  3. People like to romanticize these highly touted UDFAs as though their team found a hidden gem. I hate to say it but Hercules is an undersized defensive end whose only contribution if he made the team would be as a special teams player. There was a reason he wasn’t drafted.

  4. Figures! Teams can waive injured players at will, put them up to be picked up??? Come on!
    They pay nearly 30 million for a QB per year, then leave guys like this to live on minimum wage.. There seriously needs to be a CAP on EVERY POSITION! period.. I hope he does well

  5. He could only play with a 4-3 team who uses a lot of “NASCAR” style packages with smaller linemen on the field, since he’s basically a OLB playing DT. He has a lot of great skills for a DT, but he’s wayyyy too small. Some team may try him at DE or OLB, but he’s best inside. The Vikes took a chance on him, so he’s got a good shot to pass through waivers for them to hold on to if they like him.

  6. First good lick to you Hercules, I hope this doesn’t end your shot at the big leagues. Several big name sports websites picked him as the UDFA most likely to make a big impact for the Vikings this year, so he must have something. But for all you people who marginalize UDFA’s I have three things to say to you….

    Adam Thielen
    Marcus Sherels
    John Randle

  7. ragnarthegreat says:
    June 21, 2018 at 7:49 am
    First good lick to you Hercules, I hope this doesn’t end your shot at the big leagues. Several big name sports websites picked him as the UDFA most likely to make a big impact for the Vikings this year, so he must have something. But for all you people who marginalize UDFA’s I have three things to say to you….

    Adam Thielen
    Marcus Sherels
    John Randle

    *****

    While I don’t disagree with you that you can find UDFA gems, you’ve listed 3 out of hundreds. Thielen is good yes, but time will tell if he can continue that trend. Sherels is a hometown favorite (obviously) but its not like he is a pillar of the team. Just because Hercules was an UDFA and was good in college is not indicative he will be a HOF player.

  8. Ragnar, that’s three names out of hundreds of undrafted free agents the Vikings have signed. My point is that undrafted free agents are extreme longshots to have a major impact, especially a guy who wasn’t drafted because he doesn’t seem to fit into a particular position. I think a number of UDFAs have a good chance to make the team this year, like Holton Hill or one of the wide receivers. Tashawn Bower was a UDFA last year who might get into the DL rotation this year.

    Robert Griffith was another good one from the past.

  9. He’ll revert to IR — no biggie. The most important thing is that he gets to keep his name.

  10. I was kind of excited about Hercules but then the Vikings already had him switching positions in OTA’s. I don’t think that is a good sign. Based on that I could easily see Mata’afa cutting cut later this summer anyway.

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