Bashaud Breeland joined the Minnesota Vikings this offseason and quickly became the starting cornerback opposite Patrick Peterson. However, just one day before their Week 15 contest, the Vikings waived their CB2. What led to Breeland’s release, and what does it mean for Minnesota moving forward?
Bashaud Breeland released by Minnesota Vikings on Saturday
According to sources close to PFN NFL Insider Tony Pauline, Breeland has been known as someone who can be “easily triggered.” On Saturday, there was an altercation at practice between the veteran corner and teammates, escalating to the point that general manager Rick Spielman intervened. ESPN’s Courtney Cronin reported that the incident began in a defensive meeting room prior to on-field practice.
Cronin noted that tension grew between Breeland and a defensive coach, but things “died down” before the team took to the field. Apparently, Breeland went out with the starters before coaches sidelined him. When he wasn’t allowed back in, he went to the locker room to take his cleats off.
Upon returning, Breeland didn’t take kindly to what sources explained to Pauline as “sh*t talk.” After a verbal back and forth, sources tell Pauline that Breeland reportedly initiated physical altercations with star running back Dalvin Cook, defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, and ultimately Spielman. Reports stated several of Breeland’s teammates were attempting to step in and diffuse the situation.
ESPN reported that the general manager was able to take Breeland to his office for further discussion, ending in the cornerback’s release. Evidently, the incident proved too detrimental to allow the starting CB to return.
Later on Sunday, Breeland sent out a tweet stating, “I wanna appreciate the Vikings for the opportunity they game no hard feelings no love lost.”
What does Breeland’s absence mean for Week 15 and beyond?
Peterson and Breeland were Minnesota’s starting outside corners. Still, Breeland hasn’t played all that well this year, allowing a catch rate of 69.4% and 6 touchdowns to 2 interceptions. Mackensie Alexander is the team’s primary slot defender, and it is unlikely they will move him.
Second-yeard CB Cameron Dantzler is the only other corner who’s received significant snaps outside. Although he’s played a tertiary role there, he’s improved from an already impressive rookie campaign. However, there was obviously a reason head coach Mike Zimmer favored Breeland over him in the starting lineup.
Kris Boyd will slot into Dantzler’s previous role, with Harrison Hand rounding out the rotation. Additionally, if the Vikings feel they need to bring up another CB, Tye Smith and Parry Nickerson are currently on their practice squad.
The 6-7 Vikings are currently second in the NFC North and the eighth seed in the conference. With games vs. the Bears, Rams, Packers, and Bears again upcoming, Minnesota needs everyone to play to the best of their ability. Losing a starting corner is never ideal. Yet, Dantzler and Boyd now have the opportunity to showcase their talent with increased playing time.