We talked last week about how the NFL's salary cap was going to be higher than originally projected. That was when the cap was going to go to $130 million for each team, which is a not-insignificant amount of money.
Well, now it turns out that it could go even higher still.
According to a source, the projection for the 2014 salary cap is now at $132 million.— John Clayton (@ClaytonESPN) February 22, 2014
If that's true, then according to ESPN's Kevin Seifert, that would give the 32 NFL teams a total of $600 million to spend in free agency. The team with the most space is the Oakland Raiders, who have an insane $66 million available to spend. . .one of the benefits of playing last season with an equally insane amount of "dead money" counting against them. Two teams, the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers, are still over the salary cap, with the Cowboys being over $18 million above the cap.
We haven't talked much about the players that the Vikings could potentially target with their salary cap space, which sits at nearly $31 million based on the $132 million cap projection. There are a couple of guys that have connections to members of the new Vikings' coaching staff that could be targets.
The first is defensive end Michael Johnson, who played for new head coach Mike Zimmer with the Cincinnati Bengals. According to our friends at Cincy Jungle, the Bengals are going to make a push to re-sign Johnson. He could be a nice bookend to go across from Brian Robison now that Jared Allen is, in all likelihood, not going to be back. He had just 3.5 sacks in 2013, but had 11.5 the season before, and is young enough where he could still see some development.
The other is Tennessee Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner. The Vikings' new secondary coach, Jerry Gray, was Tennessee's defensive coordinator last season, and would know Verner better than just about anybody. Verner had a very good season for Tennessee last year, racking up 22 passes defended and five interceptions. He's not a very big corner, at 5'10" and about 190 pounds, but he's shown that he has the ability to be a very good corner for a team that very much needs the help at the position.