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Vikings begin salary dump

Detroit Lions v Minnesota Vikings

MINNEAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 15: Jimmy Kennedy #73 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates following a sack during an NFL game against the Detroit Lions at the Mall of America Field at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on November 15, 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)

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The Vikings are widely expected to cut veteran receiver Bernard Berrian, in order to get under the salary cap. They’ve begun the process by cutting another veteran player: defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy.

Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Kennedy will get the heave-ho, clearing $2.5 million off the books.

Kennedy announced the move on Twitter. “Viking fans, thank you for accepting me as your own, but I’m sorry to inform you I am no longer with the team,” Kennedy wrote. “I love you guys.”

Kennedy, the 12th overall pick in the 2003 draft, spent three years with the Vikings. He signed a two-year, $5 million contract last year.

The Vikings are $4.8 million over the salary cap, according to Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com. Once Kennedy is cut, the number will drop to $2.3 million, pending other moves. Pelissero speculates that cutting Kennedy could be aimed at creating cap space for veteran Pat Williams.

And Kennedy could always come back at a lower salary. With Pat and Kevin Williams facing four-game suspensions for violating the performance-enhancing drug policy way back in 2008, the Vikings will need replacements.