Although the Minnesota Vikings had told injured defensive end Erasmus James that they were going to release him, they decided to trade him instead. James is now with the Washington Redskins.

Minnesota will receive a seventh-round draft pick in 2009 if James makes the Skins’ roster. The deal was initiated by Vinny Cerato, Washington’s executive vice president. Cerato, when he heard that the Vikings planned to release James, phoned Minnesota coach Brad Childress on Tuesday. Concerning James, the Redskin’s vice president said, “He is young, talented and has a great deal of potential.”

The Vikings could not waive the DE on Friday due to the Memorial Day holiday on Monday. That gave Cerato the opening to contact Minnesota and make the deal.

In the last two years, James has undergone three operations on his left knee. During that time, the defensive end has missed 24 games. At this point, it’s thought that James’ knee has about 10-percent left to go before it is totally healed, which means that he could be available to play by the start of the season.

The Redskins made the deal because if James had been waived 20 other NFL teams could sign the DE before Washington. By manufacturing the trade, the Skins were able to maintain control over James’ rights.

Paul mroczka
Sports Pundit member

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