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John Carlson's Contract Essentially A Two-Year Deal

When the Minnesota Vikings signed tight end John Carlson to a five-year, $25 million contract on Wednesday, the consensus from outside of the fan base (and from some spots within it) was along the lines of, "Holy crap, the Vikings way overpaid for that guy!" Well, after further review (courtesy of Tom Pelissero), the deal doesn't appear to be that bad, and even the money that everyone thought was guaranteed isn't exactly guaranteed at all.

John Carlson's five-year, $25 million contract with the Minnesota Vikings could end up being a two-year, $11 million pact, depending how the veteran tight end produces.

According to a source with access to NFL salary data, only $9.1 million of the deal Carlson signed on Wednesday is truly guaranteed -- a $5 million signing bonus, plus Carlson's full $2.9 million base salary in 2012 and $1.2 million of his $2.9 million base salary in 2013.

So, basically, if Carlson stinks for the first two years he's in Minnesota, he'll be gone with relatively little harm done to the Vikings' salary cap.

According to Pelissero's numbers, after the Carlson deal, as well as the contracts given to Sage Rosenfels and Letroy Guion, the Vikings remain about $15 million under the salary cap.

We've maintained from Day One that Rob Brzezinski is one of the best salary cap guys in the NFL. . .doesn't appear that he's doing anything to change that perception.