Harrison Hand didn’t have to wait long for further NFL employment, as the Minnesota Vikings released the cornerback on Tuesday amid roster cutdowns to 80 players.
Hand landed with the New York Giants on Wednesday through the waiver process.
According to Darren Wolfson from KSTP in Minneapolis, the Vikings were interested in re-signing the 23-year-old.
Interestingly, Hand performed exceptionally well [in limited, preseason sample size] against the San Francisco 49ers last weekend, registering an 84.1 grade from Pro Football Focus, the fifth-best of all Vikings players on Saturday. Still, Hand was cut as Minnesota continued its roster paring to 80 players. If Hand were destined for release from the regular season roster, most would’ve theorized his release next week during the last batch of cuts.
A 5th-Round pick from the 2020 NFL Draft, Hand served as a depth corner and special teams participant for the Vikings. The Temple alumnus played in 23 games for Minnesota while starting one — a Week 17 in 2020 game at Detroit. To date, his claim-to-fame was a Christmas day game down in New Orleans when Hand Hand logged three tackles, two passes-defended, and an interception. Overall, the defense was gruesome for Minnesota that day, but Hand was a lone bright spot.
Hand played 165 defensive snaps in Minnesota and was on the field for 261 special teams plays. His significant special teams production indicated Hand might be safe to make the 53-man roster or visit the 2022 practice squad. But now, he’ll embark on life with the Giants.
The Giants currently employ Darren Evans, Cor’Dale Flott, Khalil Dorsey, Zyon Gilbert, Olaijah Griffin, Darnay Holmes, Adoree’ Jackson, Aaron Robinson, and Roadrius Williams at cornerback, so Hand will have to make an impact in the next six days to make the 53-man roster.
Hand joins Jalyn Holmes (DE) and Nate Meadors (S) as former Vikings on the Giants active roster. Former Vikings co-defensive coordinator Andre Patterson is New York’s defensive line coach.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).