So I was feeling pretty bored lately and decided to break down the vikings roster position by position and see where they stand and make any predictions that I feel might happen. I went through all of their contracts (Was a pain in the ass) and posted the years remaining with how much their making to better give you an idea of where our roster stands. Note: I am just a fan and not an "expert" I am just basing my information off what I think could happen and to give my own thought. If you don't agree then it's totally fine. This is my first post and plan on doing more in the future
*Contracts will be years remaining
*Contract information is from Spotrac.com
*( ) after players name is their age
The Vikings currently have two quarterbacks under contract
Matt Cassel (31) - 2yr $10M contract ( This contract is basically a 1 year deal with the ability to be cut in his 2nd season without little to no dead money. Cassel is the ideal "bridge" quarterback for the viking to be able to groom a drafted quarterback behind while he learns the NFL.)
Christian Ponder (26) - 1yr $3.2M contract ( With a cap hit of approx $3.2M and all of it being against the cap if we cut him, he's likely to stay on roster as 3rd or possibly 2nd string QB)
The most important position on the field the vikings need to find a long time future answer at the quarterback position. Easier said than done. Look for the vikings to draft a quarterback with the 8th pick in the draft (My vote: Teddy Bridgewater) or to take another position like LB and address it in the 2nd or 3rd (Garoppolo, Mettenberger, McCarron). As with Ponder the only possibility I see that he's not on the vikings this season is if we trade him for a late round pick. (5th or 6th) Gabbert was traded to 49ers for 6th, and you can argue that Ponder has shown more promise over his career.
Running Back/Full Back
Vikings currently have 6 running backs under contract
Adrian Peterson (29) - 4yr $59.8million contract (Peterson has a very high cap hit of $14M, $15.4M, $15M, and $16M for the next 4 years. He has $4.8M in dead money in 2014 if we cut him and $2.4M in 2015 and no dead money in 2016 and 2017.
Matt Asiata (26) - 1yr $570K contract
Jerome Felton (27) - 2yr $3.9M contract (Felton has a $1.8M cap hit this year and $2.8M cap hit in 2015. I believe with the restructure that Felton is now able to void his contract next year)
Zach Line (23) - 2yr $1.08M
Bradley Randle (23) - 2yr $930K
Joe Banyard (25) - 1yr $495K
With Adrian Peterson as your running back you're doing pretty good but there is still room for better depth. Asiata showed a little bit last year with a 3TD game against the eagles, though it was a horrible 1.7 ypc and a nice 115yd game to end the season. Expect the vikings to draft a darren sproles like running back in the later rounds of the draft to compete with Asiata for the backup position. Line, Randle and Banyard are all going to be fighting to make the final roster.
Vikings currently have 8 wide receivers under contract
Greg Jennings (30) - 4yr $39.6M contract (Jennings has a cap hit of $7M this year and then $11M throughout the rest of his contract. His dead money is currently $12.9M if we cut him and then $6M in 2015, $4M and then $2M in his final year)
Cordarrelle Patterson (23) - 3yr $5.9M contract
Jerome Simpson (28) - 1yr $1M contract
Jarius Wright (24) - 2yr $1.44M contract
Adam Thielen (23) - 2yr $930K contract
Rodney Smith (24) - 2yr $1.08M contract
Kamar Jorden (24) - 2yr $930K contract
Lestar Jean (26) - 1yr $635K contract
The WR position right now is probably one of the stronger positions on the vikings roster. With Greg Jennings I see him playing with the vikings for at least 2 more seasons and then if we need to we can cut him with saving a little bit more money if his play suffers. Patterson is the one guy were all excited about, especially now with Norv Turner in and see just how well Josh Gordan did last year. If he can develop into the true No.1 WR that we want then it will make for a much stronger core. Jerome Simpson and Jarius Wright will more than likely fight it out in training camp over the No.3 position, mainly due to Simpsons off the field issues. Iv'e always liked Wright and think that he can be a solid No.3 reciever it just seems like he hasn't seen the field enough. That leaves Thielen, Smith and Jorden to battle for the No.5 position if we dont draft a WR.
Vikings currently have 3 tight ends under contract
Kyle Rudolph (24) - 1yr $1.4M contract
Chase Ford (23) - 1yr $495K contract
Rhett Ellsion (25) - 2yr $1.38M
Rudolph is hopefully due for a breakout year under Norv Turner. In his final year of his deal look for the vikings to possibly try to work out a deal before the season starts or more than likely see how he does this year then reward him after the seasons over, as that what it seems like the vikings have been doing in the past. With the release of Carlson expect Chase Ford to see more playing time as he did show progress as he caught 5 passes in the season finale. Ellison is more of a blocker and he had a stout rookie season but declined a little bit this last year, hopefully he can get back on track. Don't expect this position to be adressed during the draft.
The Vikings currently have 4 offensive tackles under contract
Matt Kalil (24) - 2yr $11.5M contract
Phil Loadholt (28) - 3yr $18.45M contract (Has a cap hit of $5.75M in 2014 then $6.75M and finally $7.75M in 2016. If to be cut he would cost $5.25M in dead money this year, $3.5M in 2015 and $1.75M in 2016.)
Kevin Murphy (24) - 2yr $930K contract
Mike Remmers (24) - 1yr $495K contract
With OT the Vikings have two very solid starters in Matt Kalil and Phil Loadholt. Hopefully Kalil can turn into a premier left tackle after having kind of a down year last year than what he did during his rookie season. Loadholt is the power run blocking tackle that we need to help Adrian. As for Murphy and Remmers these are two young unproven guys who can hopefully develop into solid backups. As for the draft don't expect the vikings to be looking early at OT and maybe will grab one in the late rounds but will more than likely just grab some UFA's after the draft.
The Vikings currently have 4 guards under contract
Brandon Fusco (25) - 1yr $1.45M contract
Charlie Johnson (29) - 2yr $5M contract (Essentially another 1 year deal with a cap hit of $2.5M both years but can be cut next year with no cost.)
Jeff Baca (24) - 3yr $1.82M contract
Vladimir Ducasse (26) - Contract wasn't updated
After last year Brandon Fusco is looking like our long term answer at the RG position. He is in a contract year and should be one of our higher priority free agents that we should sign next offseason. Initally hearing the news of charlie johnson being resigned was a shock to me and I wondered why when clearly he was our weakest link on the offensive line. Afterthought though for me is that it was a good signing because looking at the draft, there is some solid guards in there but I'm not sure if the vikings would take them that high when we have other needs especially on defense. So expect Johnson and Baca and possibly a drafted rookie (rd. 3-7) to compete for the starting LG spot and Olsen and Ducasse will primarily serve as backups.
The Vikings currently have 3 centers under contract
John Sullivan (28) - 3yr $15.15M contract
Joe Berger (31) - 1yr $920K contract
Josh Samuda (25) - 1yr $495K contract
With 3 more years left on John Sullivans contract, the Vikings should be set at this position for a few years. Last year he might not have played as well as he did in 2012, but I still believe he's one of the better centers in the league. Vikings signed Berger to a 1 year deal this offseason to have to a reliable back up behind Sullivan. Don't expect the vikings to draft this position in the draft, unless its a versatile guard who can play both positions.
The Vikings currently have 4 defensive ends under contract
Everson Griffen (26) - 5 yr $42.5M contract (Griffen carries a cap hit of $8.2M from 2014-2017 then it jumps to $9.7M in 2018 which is his final year. The Vikings put all of his guaranteed money in the first two years of the deal so that if they need to cut him, they can with only a $3.6M, $2.4M, or $1.2M amount of dead money in his last 3 years.)
Brian Robison (30) - 4yr $22.4M contract (Robsion's cap hit is $5.7M, $5.45M, $5M, and $6.6M throughout his deal. If he was cut his dead money would currently be $4M this year and then $3M, $2M and $1M in dead money in his final year.)
Corey Wootton (26) - 1yr $1.5M contract
Justin Trattou (25) - 1yr $570K contract
With the departure of Jared Allen leaving to the bears, the Vikings signed Everson Griffen to a big contract this offseason. It may seem like a big amount of money to give to a guy who has only 1 NFL start, but the way the Vikings structured his deal they can get away relatively safe after the 1st two years if it doesn't work out. Vikings also gave Robison a contract during the season, where he was a solid starter opposite of Allen for the past few years. How well this position does will ultimately come down to Griffen and if he is able to live up to his contract. Mike Zimmer likes to rotate his DL alot so expect a bunch of players to get opportunities. With Corey Wootton I think that we might use him like we've been using Griffen in the past as he can play multiple positions. For the draft don't be surprised if the vikings take a DE in the mid to late rounds to hopefully develop and can be used in the rotation and can replace Robison when his time is up.
The Vikings currently have 7 DT's under contract
Linval Joseph (25) - 5yr $31.5M contract (Like Griffens deal, all of the guaranteed money in Joseph's deal is in the first 2 years. He carries a cap hit of $6.6M, $4.6M, $6.3M, $6.8M, and $6.8M throughout his contract. If to be cut his dead money would be $12.5M this year and then $6M, $1.8M, and $1.2M and only $600K in his final year.
Sharrif Floyd (21) - 3 yr $6M contract
Fred Evans (30) - 1yr $1M contract
Kheeston Randall (24) - 2yr $1.08M contract
Spencer Nealy (23) - 2yr $960K contract
Chase Baker (25) - 1yr $495K contract
Tom Johnson (29) - 1yr $845K contract
The big signing of the offseason for the vikings was getting Linval Joseph. Ever since Pat Williams left the Vikings run D has been getting worse year by year, and they hope that that Joseph can fill his shoes. Joseph is young big nose tackle who demands double teams with also having the ability to get after the quarterback, he just what the vikings needed. Just entering his prime at 25 hopefully Joseph can have a dominant career as a Viking. As for Floyd he is now thrown into the starting lineup with Kevin Williams leaving, and can hopefully earn his worth when he was drafted in the 1st round. Fred Evans provides a serviceable backup behind Joseph. For the draft I wouldn't expect the vikings to address this position as we hopefully have two long term answers in Joseph and Floyd, unless theirs a player they like in the later rounds.
Linebacker (O - Outside) (I - Inside)
The Vikings currently have 7 LB's under contract
O Chad Greenway (31) - 2 yr $15.9M contract (Greenway's contract has a cap hit of $7.2M this year and $8.8M next year. If to be cut this year would cost $8.9M in dead money and cost $1.7M next year.)
O Gerald Hodges (23) -3yr $2.07M contract
O Larry Dean (25) - 2yr $2M contract
I Michael Mauti (24) - 3yr $1.8M contract
I Audie Cole (24) - 2yr $1.23M contract
I Jasper Brinkley (28) - 1yr $830K contract
I Simoni Lawrence (25) - 3yr $1.54M contract
The linebacker position is arguably the weakest on the entire Viking's roster. With Chad Greenway the only proven starter on the team and even he had a bad year last year then what were used too. Just throwing this out there but I wouldn't be shocked if this is Greenway's last year as a Viking. Mainly depending on how the others LB's play this year because if they show promise and they feel comfortable with them in the future he could easily be gone. If they cut him next year it would save them about $7.1M against the cap (not 100% sure though). and could use that money to extend Fusco and Rudolph. I'm excited to see Cole and Mauti battle for ILB position this offseason and hopefully we get to see more of Hodges. Cole or Mauti might end up proving to be long term answers but you can't go into the draft thinking you have that position filled when they realtively inexperienced. As for the draft expect Vikings to look at LB early. The 3 names in the 1st round are Mack, Barr and Mosley. Mack isnt probably going to be there so Barr and Mosley are 2 options. We could use Barr like the broncos use Von Miller as he can get after the quarterback really well. I really like Mosley as a LB but he it would probably a reach to get him at 8 mainly due to his knees. They could try to trade back and grab him a little later in the 1st or just wait until 2nd or 3rd to grab a LB, and get a QB or CB in first.
The Vikings currently have 8 CB's under contract
Xavier Rhodes (23) - 3yr $5.9M contract
Captain Munnerlyn (25) - 3yr $11.25M contract (Has a cap hit of $3.3M this year then $3.8M in 2015 and $4.5M in 2016. If cut would cost $3.45M in dead money this year and then $666K in 2015 and $333K in 2016.)
Josh Robinson (23) - 2yr $1.74M contract
Marcus Sherels (26) - 2yr $2.2M contract
Derek Cox (27) - 1yr $780K contract
Shaun Prater (24) - 2yr $1.23M contract
Kip Edwards (24) - 2yr $930K contract
Robert Steeples (24) - Contract not updated
With the addition of Captain Munnerlyn, this unit is already stronger than what is was last year. Munnerlyn excels in the slot which the vikings were horrible at defending last year (Robinson) and he can also play on the outside if he needs too. With Rhodes over the 2nd half of the season we saw glimpses of shutdown potential in him, but he needs to stay healthy for him to be able to keep on progressing. With Mike Zimmer bringing in more of a man to man type of scheme than what the vikings had the last couple years with the Cover 2 bullshit, expect Rhodes to thrive in this system. If he can stay healthy this season he can grow into the true No.1 corner the vikings need. Robinson will more than likely be playing more outside this season as he struggled last year in the slot and showed some promise his rookie year on the outside. Sherels improved as a corner last year and is one of the best punt returners in the league. Cox is the wildcard, after showing promise early in his career with Jacksonville he went to SD and played awful and in 1 season got cut. For the draft expect the vikings to draft a CB early, possibly even in the 1st round if they like Gilbert or Dennard. At least by round 3 the vikings will more than likely take a corner, as we need to find someone who can play opposite Rhodes.
The Vikings currently have 6 safeties under contract
Harrison Smith (25) - 2yr $4.2M contract
Jamarca Sanford (28) - 1yr $1.95M contract
Robert Blanton (24) - 2yr $1.34M contract
Andrew Sendejo (26) - 2yr $2M contract
Mistral Raymond (26) - 1yr $669K contract
Brandon Bishop (23) - 2yr $930K contract
With safety the vikings are set at one spot with Harrison Smith, but they need to find someone to play opposite him in the future. Sanford has been an average starter who is good against the run but struggles sometimes against the past. Sendejo got to see some playing time last year and actually did pretty well with the injury to Smith. Safety isnt the biggest need this season, but next year Sanford is a FA and the vikings are probably going to look towards this draft to find an answer to develop for a year, in an ideal world. For the draft dont expect the vikings to take a safety in the first 2 rounds (although they could if they really like someone and then he could start this year instead of Sanford) and expect them take one more in the middle rounds like 3-5, to sit while Sanford or possibly Sendejo if he shines in camp to start again.
K Blair Walsh (24) - 2yr $1.28M contract
P Jeff Locke (24) - 3yr $1.9M contract
LS Cullen Loeffler (33) - 1yr $1.26M contract
Locke was a questionable draft pick last as he played ok this year. Walsh is good and Loeffler is the oldest player on the team so theirs that...
- Kyle Rudolph
- Brandon Fusco
- Christian Ponder
- Jamarca Sanford
- Corey Wootton
- Cullen Loeffler
- Fred Evans
- Jerome Simpson
- Tom Johnson
- Jasper Brinkley
- Mistral Raymond
- Joe Berger
- Matt Asiata
- Derek Cox
- Chase Baker
- Joe Banyard
- Josh Samuda
- Vladimir Ducasse
- Mike Remmers
After looking at the pending FA's for next year, there are only 2 major priorites that I believe the Vikings should sign and they are Rudolph and Fusco. Both are young players who have earned new contracts and are just entering their prime. Other possibilities depending on how the season goes more than likely to be short term deals include Sanford, Wootton, Simpson, Cox and possibly Ducasse because he is a young guard, and he was drafted in 2nd round so obviously he's got some talent.
AVG Age for Position
- TE - 24
- CB - 24.5
- OT - 25
- WR - 25.25
- DT - 25.29
- S - 25.33
- RB - 25.5
- LB - 25.71
- OG - 26
- DE - 26.75
- C - 28
- QB - 28.5
A lot of these #'s are going to change over the course of the off season especially after the draft and once we sign new people but it just gives your a brief overview of the age of our roster. A lot of these #'s are going to seem inflated because we have a lot of young guys on that might not make the roster so the #'s are going to be a little lower than they what they more than likely will be once the season stars. Sharrif Floyd is the youngest Viking at age 21. The Vikings have 7 players over the age of 30 which are Cassel, Jennings, Berger, Robison, Evans, Greenway and Loeffler who is the oldest Viking at 33.
Positions of Need
Here are my top 5 positions that i believe the Vikings need to address in the draft:
1.) QB - The most important position on field, Need long term answer
2.) LB - Both inside and outside, linebacker is probably our weakest position this year and needs to be addressed.
3.) CB - I love the captain signing and looks like Rhodes will develop into a No.1 corner, but we need to find true No.2 corner to play opposite Rhodes as Captain mostly plays slot although he can play outside
4.) G - Johnson was bad last year, we need a new LG
5.) S - Finding someone to play opposite Smith with Sanford in his final year
Other areas of need: RB depth, DE depth, possibly another WR
Position Mock Draft
Instead of doing players I'm going to list all the positions and say where we might target them in the draft based off need.
- QB - Rd. 1-3
- RB - Rd. 4-7
- WR - Rd. 4-7
- TE - Dont Draft
- OT - Don't Draft
- OG - Rd. 3-5
- C - Don't Draft
- DE - Rd. 4-7
- DT - Don't Draft
- LB - Rd. 1-4
- CB - Rd. 1-4
- S - Rd. 3-6
The second rd. that I list doesn't mean that we shouldn't take for example a QB in the 4th round, it's just where I believe we should draft them based off of need. Also we could take a LB in say the 2nd round and also 5th for example.
Looking back I hope you guys have a better understanding of where our roster stands. There are clearly some large holes that we need to fill in the draft like QB,LB and CB. Like I said before this is my first post that I've made and would really appreciate it if you guys would leave a comment and have any suggestions or anything that you agree or don't agree with. Also if you have any suggestions on what I could do for future posts that would be great!