Looking at Vikings Contracts For 2014

The Vikings brain trust needs to make some hard decisions in the coming weeks. - Hannah Foslien

The Vikings have some important personnel decisions before training camp starts in Mankato in July. Let's look at player contracts and try and figure some things out.

As we head into the off season, new coach Mike Zimmer and GM Rick Spielman will be looking to re-shape the roster, and get the Vikings back into contention in the NFL.  Below is a chart I've taken from Rotoworld that has every Vikings currently on the roster in whatever capacity, (active, reserve/injured. reserve/future, etc) and what their contract status is for 2014 and beyond.  Guys I've lined through are players I don't think will be back, for a couple reasons I'll explain after the chart.  And keep in mind, these roster adjustments are just based on contract status, not necessarily guys I think will or won't make the final 53 man roster, which is why I haven't lined through any of the guys that are on reserve/futures contracts.  Okay? Okay.

Take a look at the chart, and then we'll discuss below:

Player

Position

Contract Status

Joe Berger

Center

2014: Free Agent

Cullen Loeffler

Center

2014: $1.135 million, 2015: Free Agent

John Sullivan

Center

2014: $3.65 million, 2015-2016: $4.65 million, 2017: Free Agent

Brandan Bishop

Defensive Back

12/30/2013: Signed a reserve/future contract.

Robert Blanton

Defensive Back

2014: $570,000, 2015: $660,000, 2016: Free Agent

Chris Cook

Defensive Back

2014: Free Agent

Kip Edwards

Defensive Back

12/30/2013: Signed a reserve/future contract.

Shaun Prater

Defensive Back

2014: $570,000, 2015: $660,000, 2016: Free Agent

Mistral Raymond

Defensive Back

2014: $645,000, 2015: Free Agent

Xavier Rhodes

Defensive Back

2014: $759,841, 2015: $1,114,682, 2016: $979,523 (+ $390,000 roster bonus + $100,000 workout bonus), 2017: Free Agent

Josh Robinson

Defensive Back

2014: $627,000, 2015: $766,000, 2016: Free Agent

Jamarca Sanford

Defensive Back

2014: $2.45 million, 2015: Free Agent

Andrew Sendejo

Defensive Back

2014: $750,000, 2015: $950,000, 2016: Free Agent

Marcus Sherels

Defensive Back

2014: Restricted Free Agent

Harrison Smith

Defensive Back

2014: $1,038,958, 2015: $1,363,437, 2016: Free Agent

Robert Steeples

Defensive Back

12/27/2013: Signed a three-year, $1.485 million contract. 2014: $495,000, 2015: $585,000, 2016: Exclusive Rights Free Agent

Jared Allen

Defensive Lineman

2014: Free Agent

Chase Baker

Defensive Lineman

2014: $495,000, 2015: Exclusive Rights Free Agent

Christian Ballard

Defensive Lineman

2014: $645,000, 2015: Free Agent

Fred Evans

Defensive Lineman

2014: Free Agent

Sharrif Floyd

Defensive Lineman

2014: $772,100, 2015: $1,139,200, 2016: $941,300 (+ $465,000 roster bonus + $100,000 workout bonus), 2017: Free Agent

Everson Griffen

Defensive Lineman

2014: Free Agent

Letroy Guion

Defensive Lineman

2014: $3.95 million, 2015: Free Agent

Spencer Nealy

Defensive Lineman

12/30/2013: Signed a reserve/future contract.

Brian Robison

Defensive Lineman

2014: $4 million, 2015: $4.15 million, 2016: $3.75 million, 2017: $5.3 million, 2018: Free Agent

Justin Trattou

Defensive Lineman

2014: $570,000, 2015: Restricted Free Agent

Kevin Williams

Defensive Lineman

2014: Free Agent

Jeff Baca

Guard

2014: $495,000, 2015: $585,000, 2016: $675,000, 2017: Free Agent

Brandon Fusco

Guard

2014: $645,000, 2015: Free Agent

Charlie Johnson

Guard

2014: $855,000, 2015: $870,000, 2016: Free Agent

Josh Samuda

Guard

1/3/2014: Signed a reserve/future contract.

Desmond Bishop

Linebacker

2014: Free Agent

Audie Cole

Linebacker

2014: $570,000, 2015: $660,000, 2016: Free Agent

Larry Dean

Linebacker

2014: Restricted Free Agent

Chad Greenway

Linebacker

2014: $6.4 million, 2015: $7 million, 2016: Free Agent

Erin Henderson

Linebacker

2014: $1.95 million, 2015: Free Agent

Gerald Hodges

Linebacker

2014: $495,000, 2015: $585,000, 2016: $675,000, 2017: Free Agent

Michael Mauti

Linebacker

2014: $495,000, 2015: $585,000, 2016: $675,000, 2017: Free Agent

Marvin Mitchell

Linebacker

2014: Free Agent

Blair Walsh

Place Kicker

2014: $570,000, 2015: $660,000, 2016: Free Agent

Jeff Locke

Punter

2014: $495,000, 2015: $585,000, 2016: $675,000, 2017: Free Agent

Matt Cassel

Quarterback

2014: $3.15 million (Player Option), 2015: Free Agent

Josh Freeman

Quarterback

2014: Free Agent

Christian Ponder

Quarterback

2014: $1,760,277, 2015: Free Agent

Matt Asiata

Running Back

2014: Exclusive Rights Free Agent

Toby Gerhart

Running Back

2014: Free Agent

Joe Banyard

Running Back

2014: $495,000, 2015: Exclusive Rights Free Agent

Adrian Peterson

Running Back

2014: $11.75 million, 2015: $12.75 million, 2016: $14.75 million, 2017: $16.75 million, 2018: Free Agent

Bradley Randle

Zach Line

Running Back

Running Back

12/30/2013: Signed a reserve/future contract.

2014: $495,000, 2015: $585,000, 2016: Restricted Free Agent

Matt Kalil

Tackle

2014: $2,187,326, 2015: $3,085,989, 2016: Free Agent

Phil Loadholt

Tackle

2014: $3.4 million (+ $500,000 roster bonus), 2015: $4.4 million (+ $500,000 roster bonus), 2015: $5.4 million (+ $500,000 roster bonus), 2016: Free Agent

Kevin Murphy

Tackle

12/30/2013: Signed a reserve/future contract.

Mike Remmers

Tackle

2014: $495,000, 2015: Exclusive Rights Free Agent

J'Marcus Webb

Tackle

2014: Free Agent

John Carlson

Tight End

2014: $3.9 million, 2015-2016: $4.9 million, 2017: Free Agent

Rhett Ellison

Tight End

5/22/2012: Signed a four-year, $2.4 million contract. The deal included a $300,584 signing bonus. 2014: $570,000, 2015: $660,000, 2016: Free Agent

Chase Ford

Tight End

1/7/2013: Signed a two-year, $900,000 contract. 2014: $495,000, 2015: Exclusive Rights Free Agent

Kyle Rudolph

Tight End

7/30/2011: Signed a four-year, $3,907,164 contract. The deal included a $1,867,164 signing bonus. 2014: $956,343, 2015: Free Agent

Greg Childs

Wide Receiver

2014: $570,000, 2015: $660,000, 2016: Free Agent

Greg Jennings

Wide Receiver

2014: $4.9 million, 2015-2017: $8.9 million, 2018: Free Agent

Kamar Jorden

Wide Receiver

1/3/2014: Signed a reserve/future contract.

Cordarrelle Patterson

Wide Receiver

2014: $733,229, 2015: $1,061,458, 2016: $1,009,687 (+ $280,000 roster bonus + $100,000 workout bonus), 2017: Free Agent

Jerome Simpson

Wide Receiver

2014: Free Agent

Rodney Smith

Wide Receiver

2014: $495,000, 2015: $555,000, 2016: Restricted Free Agent

Adam Thielen

Wide Receiver

12/30/2013: Signed a reserve/future contract.

Joe Webb

Wide Receiver

2014: Free Agent

Centers: I like Joe Berger, because he has played well as a backup at a few positions for the Vikings.  Because of that, I'm betting he will get a bigger offer from another team.  Sullivan is a no-brainer, and as of right now I'm keeping Loeffler, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the Vikings draft someone to be the long snapper for a lot less than the $1 million plus salary Loeffler will be pulling down in 2014.

Defensive Backs: Blanton, Raymond, and Sherels are the guys here that won't be back.  Blanton really hasn't shown anything at all, after wining a starting job in 2011, Raymond got hurt and hasn't been the same.  For Marcus Sherels, as a restricted rights free agent, it will be interesting to see what kind of qualifying offer the Vikings will give, whether or not Sherels gets any offers based on the qualifying offer, and whether or not he Vikings will match.  I'm also thinking that Chris Cook is a guy Mike Zimmer will want to keep and try and turn into a quality starter.

Defensive Linemen: With his age and what he'll be wanting to get paid, I don't see Jared Allen returning.  But I can see a scenario where Kevin Williams comes back, because I really don't see Evans or Guion being retained.  I do see the Vikings getting a deal done with Everson Griffen, though.  With Allen not coming back, getting a new deal done with Griffen is probably Rick spielman's number one off-season priority right now.  Rotoworld has Ballard still under contract, and I can't find anything on his status other than the Vikings designation of 'reserve/left squad'. I'm assuming his contract is treated the same as a retired player--his salary doesn't count against the cap, and he won't be counted on the final roster anymore.

Guard: I just don't see Charlie Johnson back based on his sub par play in 2013, and with a salary of only $855,000 in 2014, he would be a pretty minimal cap hit.

Linebacker: I don't think anyone will be surprised if Mitchell, Henderson, and Bishop don't come back.  The big move I have here is Greenway.  I actually think Greenway will be back, I just don't think it will be for $6.4 million.  With his declining performance and age, I think a re-structure request by the Vikings is almost guaranteed.

Punter/Kicker: No changes.

Quarterback: I'll be stunned if Freeman comes back, and almost as surprised if Ponder comes back.  But Ponder's cap hit would be over $3 million dollars, so from a pure contract perspective, I can see him coming back.  I would think the Vikings would prefer trading him to avoid the cap hit, but what do they do if he can't?  Assuming Cassel comes back, which I think he will, a $3.15 million salary is pretty reasonable for a starter, and Ponder's $1.7 million isn't bad for a #2 guy. Why do I think Cassel comes back?  For one, he has a legitimate shot to be the #1 guy in 2014, I don't think he would command that kind of salary as a free agent, and a Norv Turner offense would be very enticing for a quarterback.  We'll see.

Running Back: Asiata's status reminds me in a lot of ways about Sherels.  As an exclusive rights free agent, the Vikings hold all the cards, and based on what his qualifying offer is, and what teams are interested, I can very easily see a scenaripo where he doesn't come back.  As for Gerhart, I think he's been a solid backup, but he can start (or at least get a lot more carries as a platoon guy), and someone will give him a good offer that will be too rich for the Vikings to bring him back as a backup.

Tackle: I really don't see any major contract issues at tackle.  No changes here.

Tight End: With Carlson's upcoming salary and injury history, I don't see the Vikings keeping him. He'll have a $5 million cap hit in 2014.

Wide Receiver: With Patterson emerging late in the year, Simpson becomes expendable, and I would be mildly surprised if the Vikings bring him back.  Of course, I was surprised when they brought him back in 2013, too.  Childs' status is interesting, and how he rehabs from his injury this off-season will determine whether or not he comes back.  I hope he does.  And yeah, I think the Joe Webb era has ended...long live the Joe Webb era.

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