Vikings sign Crawford to practice squad
Don’t close the book on Mike Crawford’s professional football career yet.
As the last player cut by the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, the 1992 Whittell High grad was one of the first they called back on Monday. Crawford was one of four players the Vikings signed to the practice squad.
“That’s just he way it is,” Crawford said. “To make a roster these days is so hard because there’s so many factors. It’s not just how good of a player you are, but who the other people there are, how many years you have in the league and so many other things.
“There are so many other players who are out there who can play and aren’t playing. I was one of them the last two years.”
Since the Vikings cut Crawford on Sunday, they had to wait until the former University of Nevada All-Big West linebacker cleared waivers.
The 26-year-old Crawford thought he had made the team on Saturday – and even practiced as one of the 53 to make the squad – but the Vikings made a late trade with the Baltimore Ravens, sending two draft picks to Cleveland for quarterback Spergon Wynn and running back Travis Prentice. As a result, the team had to waive two more players.
“It kind of bummed me out, but in the big picture it’s not that big of a deal,” Crawford said. “It was understandable with me being questionable and not being a starter. That’s the way it is.
“It’s good to still be part of the team. Hopefully I’ll get back on that roster.”
Crawford suffered the worst ankle sprain of his career on the final play of the Vikings’ final preseason game with Miami on Friday.
“It seemed a lot worse when it happened,” said Crawford, who played three quarters at middle linebacker. “It’s amazing that I didn’t have anything worse with me. The ankle took all the pressure instead of the knee.”
His mom, Mary, who lives on the South Shore, is comfortable with her son’s newest team.
“He likes it there, and (coach) Dennis Green seems to like him,” Mary said. “It’s very family-oriented, and Mike likes the mentality there.”
Crawford will reportedly earn $4,000 to $5,000 per week as a practice team member and $90,000 per month if he is activated.
Crawford played two seasons with the Dolphins – the last in 1998. The linebacker and special teams player was released in June of 1999 after several unsuccessful surgeries to correct an abdominal injury.
Like the Vikings’ other signees on Monday, the 6-foot-1 Crawford had participated in Minnesota’s preseason training camp. Others assigned to the practice squad included tight end Matt Cercone of Arizona State, safety Brian Russell of San Diego State and linebacker Antonio Wilson of Texas A & M Commerce.
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