EDEN PRAIRIE, MN - MAY 4: Matt Kalil #75 of the Minnesota Vikings runs through a drill during a rookie minicamp on May 4, 2012 at Winter Park in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
With the signing of the new CBA last year which essentially included a rookie wage scale, it seemed the days of lengthy holdouts for the NFL and their newest players were going to become a thing of the past.
Leave it to our favorite team to put that theory to the test. Only in Minnesota, amirite?
Apparently, the Vikings and the agents for 4th overall pick Matt Kalil are at an impasse over what is called contract 'offset language'. Offset language allows a team to recoup some money if a rookie doesn't play through the life of the contract, and gives teams some financial protection in case they inadvertently draft a turd.
I think this is stupid with Kalil on three fronts:
1) The Vikings have said that they plan on Kalil being their LT 'for a decade', which implies they're pretty confident he'll play out his rookie contract, and he's shown zero turd tendencies, pre- or post-draft.
2) Zygi Wilf is getting a shiny new stadium with shiny new revenue streams. The amount of money the Vikings are looking at saving in terms of a $20 million contract is chump change in comparison to the amount of cash the organization will be rolling in come 2016. That is the year the new stadium opens, and when Kalil's rookie deal is set to run through, assuming he gets a four year deal with an option for a fifth.
3) I think this offset language proviso is not nearly as important now as it was two years ago. The amount of guaranteed money teams are looking at losing is a pittance compared to rookie contracts under the previous CBA. I could see it back then, but now? Most of the teams around where Minnesota drafted don't have offset language in their first round contracts, so I don't get it.
Thar hardest working beat writer in show business, Tom Pelissero, gives a more detailed breakdown here about how this goes back all the way to the Emmanuel Arcenaux signing, but the bottom line is this:
With players set to report tomorrow and training camp starting Friday, it's time to get a deal done. The fans really won't have a lot of sympathy with ownership if the #1 draft pick selected to protect last year's number one draft pick and heal the line isn't in camp over what amounts to a few million bucks, especially since we went to bat for the team in making our voices heard on a stadium. Anyway, that's just my opinion.
Either way, get a deal done.
If Matt Kalil ends up holding out, who's fault is it?
Matt Kalil: You're a rookie, no one forced you to play in the NFL. Shut up and enjoy your millions. (374 votes)
The Vikings. Seriously, you're griping over a couple of million bucks when most picks in his range don't have offset language, AND you're getting a new stadium? (688 votes)
1062 total votes