Tom Pelissero of ESPN 1500 has put together an article that shows how long every player on the Minnesota Vikings' roster is signed for, and what their salary cap hit in 2013 is. It appears that the Vikings will have about $12.5 million in cap space to play with this off-season, but what the Vikings choose to do at one of their strongest positions may have some say as to whether they have more. . .or even less.
Defensive end Jared Allen has the Vikings' biggest salary cap figure, taking up a little more than 14% of the Vikings' 2013 salary cap at a shade over $17 million. . .$17,063,956, if you want the exact number. I think that there's very little question that he's going to be asked to restructure his contract to give the team a bit of relief, likely in the form of an extension (he is in the final year of his contract). After all, it's not as though Allen is an unproductive player or anything, although he "only" had 12 sacks in 2012.
However, while the Vikings might get that relief from Allen, they might have to turn around and spend that money. . .some of it, at least. . .on defensive ends anyway. That's because the next two guys on the depth chart, Brian Robison (with a cap figure of $6,666,668 in 2013) and Everson Griffen ($710,000, as he's in the final year of his rookie deal) have contracts that expire after the 2013 season as well. The Vikings might have to part with one of those three players. . .it's almost inconceivable that they would part with all three.
So, it appears that Rick Spielman and company have a pretty important decision to make about one of the most important positions on the Minnesota defense. Do the Vikings extend Allen's deal? Do they trade Allen away for draft picks and focus on keeping Robison and Griffen? Are Robison and Griffen pretty much competing for a contract extension for 2014 and beyond?
How would you handle it if you were in charge? Which direction do you think the Vikings will go?