A look at the 2012 Minnesota Vikings cap situation

Well, our season is officially over. This team is 3-13 and has holes all over the place. But in order to fill those holes, beyond the draft, the team needs money. So let's take a look at the 2012 Minnesota Vikings cap situation, using Tom Pelissero's latest as a guide:

More after the jump...

First, the following Vikings are FA's heading into this offseason:

I'd guess only 4-5 of the above will be retained in 2012, with Evans, Guion, Erin Henderson, Sage Rosenfels, Benny Sapp, Visanthe Shiancoe, and Patrick Brown as likely candidates. But we'll make no assumptions on any of the above to begin this exercise. So, we are left with the following virtual roster "locks" for 2012 PRIOR TO ANY POTENTIAL CUTS:


Special Teams:


None of the above figures factor in bonuses, and while specific information is elusive in relating to bonuses and incentives, I'd estimate there are about $10M more to be allocated in bonuses in 2012. So we're left with a total team allocation of $92.848M. The NFL Salary cap in 2012 should be around $125M. That leaves $32.152M to play with.

I would say it would be reasonable to allocate roughly $8M to 2012 draft picks and undrafted FA's, leaving us with $24.152M. What I'd do with the rest:

Cap casualties/cuts:

  • Steve Hutchinson (retire); $6.95M saved This seems like a likely scenario anyway with his injuries this year.
  • Anthony Herrera (cut): $2.65M saved. Too many injuries.
  • Cedric Griffin (cut); $4.1M saved Griffin was once a very nice DB for us, but he and Frazier clearly aren't on the same page anymore, and this is way too much money to pay him.
  • Antoine Winfield (cut); $3M saved Like Hutchinson and Griffin, he's been a nice player for us in the past, but we can't afford him with his injury history at this point.

So we're left with roughly $40.852M to spend in Free Agency. I'd target the following players:

  • OL: Sign Carl Nicks, OG-Saints, to a 7 year, $60M contract, paying him around $9M in 2012. This is my big splash. He's essentially a younger, dominant replacement for Steve Hutchinson
  • WR: Sign Laurent Robinson, Cowboys, to a 4 year, $16M contract, paying him around $4M in 2012. Young guy wtih immense talent coming into his prime. The Cowboys likely can't afford to pay him, Miles Austin, and Dez Bryant big money.
  • WR: Sign Robert Meachem, Saints, to a 4 year, $20M contract, paying him around $5M in 2012. Like Robinson, young and coming into his prime, and he's a big target that this offense could use.
  • CB: Sign Brandon Carr, Chiefs, to a 5 year, $22M contract, paying him around $5M in 2012. Young, coming off his rookie contract. Won't break the bank.
  • S: Sign Tyvon Branch, Raiders, to a 4 year, $16M contract, paying him around $5M in 2012. Another young guy, coming off his rookie contract. Won't break the bank.
  • TE: Sign John Carlson, Seahawks, to a 3 year, $9M contract, paying him around $3M in 2012. Potential to be a nice combo with Rudolph.
  • Our own FA's: re-sign Rosenfels ($1M), Sapp ($1M), Erin Henderson ($2M), Guion ($1M), and Evans ($1M).
  • Total 2012 allocation from above: $37M, coming in about $4M under the projected cap.


  • Trade back in 1st rd with Cleveland; acquire #4 pick and #37 (their 2nd rder):
  • #4-Matt Kalil. If he is gone, then I'd trade down again and make sure I get Martin. Kalil or Martin and Nicks would make for a devastating left side of the line for a long time, and you could shift Johnson to RG, with improved depth behind the line as well.
  • #35-Best CB available
  • #37-Best LB available that slips
  • #67-Best CB, WR, S or LB available
  • #96 (this is my projected compensatory pick for Sidney Rice)-Best CB, WR, S, or LB available; whatever you didn't get at #37 or #67
  • 4th rd pick: best rushing DE or DT you can find
  • 5th rd pick: project WR, CB, DT, DE, RB, or LB
  • 6th rd pick: BPA
  • 4 7th rd picks (2 compensatory): BPA

New team:

  • QB: Christian Ponder ($837K), Sage Rosenfels ($1M), Joe Webb ($490K)
  • RB: Adrian Peterson ($8M), Toby Gerhart ($490K), rookie RB (or King); $465K
  • TE: Kyle Rudolph ($585K), John Carlson ($3M), Reisner or Shuler ($500K)
  • WR: Robert Meachem ($5M), Laurent Robinson ($4M), Percy Harvin ($915K), Michael Jenkins ($2.5M), rookie ($465K), Stephen Burton ($465K)
  • OL: Matt Kalil ($5M), Carl Nicks ($9M), John Sullivan ($3M), Charlie Johnson ($2.95M), Phil Loadholt ($565K), Joe Berger ($1M), Chris DeGeare ($465K), DeMarcus Love ($465K), Brandon Fusco ($465K)
  • ST: Ryan Longwell ($1.75M), Chris Kluwe ($1.3M), Cullen Loeffler ($840K)
  • DL: Jared Allen ($11.62M), Kevin Williams ($7M), Brian Robison ($726K), Remi Ayodele ($2.2M), Christian Ballard ($465K), Everson Griffen ($490K), D'Aundre Reed ($465K), Letroy Guion ($1M), Fred Evans ($1M)
  • LB: Chad Greenway ($5.9M), rookie ($465K), Erin Henderson ($2M), Jasper Brinkley ($565K), Larry Dean ($465K), Tyrone McKenzie or rookie ($500K)
  • CB: Brandon Carr ($5M), rookie ($465K), Chris Cook ($490K), Benny Sapp ($1M), Brandon Burton ($465K), Asher Allen ($565K)
  • S: Tyvon Branch ($5M), Mistral Raymond ($465K), Jamarca Sanford ($565K), rookie ($465K)
  • Total payroll: $104.853M. Tack on $15M in bonuses and another $3M for the practice squad and you get $122.853M.
I believe this is a younger, better, stronger team, especially on offense, with close to zero "holes" there, and with a lot of potential on defense and a lot more youth. Bottomline; we do have some money to play with this offseason, especially if we are smart with some of our aging veterans. What say you?

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.

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