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Some Minnesota Vikings Salary Cap Questions

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Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, Ted took a look at some of the members of the Minnesota Vikings that will reach free agency this offseason. Those aren't the only familiar faces that could be missing from next year's roster, as the Vikings are going to have some salary decisions to make before the start of free agency. Using the data from the folks at Over the Cap, let's examine some of those potential cuts here.

WR Mike Wallace - Cap figure: $11.5 million, $0 dead money if cut, cap savings of $11.5M

In his post-season press conference this afternoon, Mike Zimmer told reporters that he wanted to see Mike Wallace back next season. If that's the case, the coach is going to have to talk to Wallace about taking a serious pay cut, because there's a greater chance that the Vikings will give me $11.5 million next season than there is of them giving it to Wallace. Acquired for a fifth-round pick this offseason, Wallace got $11 million to finish third on the team in receptions (39), receiving yards (473), and receiving touchdowns (2). Wallace and Teddy Bridgewater simply couldn't get on the same page this season, and we probably aren't going to know if another season will change that if Wallace isn't willing to reduce his cap number by quite a bit.

OT Matt Kalil - Cap figure: $11.1M, $0 dead money if cut, cap savings of $11.1M

This is going to be one of the more interesting stories before the start of free agency. The Vikings picked up Kalil's fifth-year option, which was a wise move (despite the huge number) because it's risk-free. Because his 2016 salary is only guaranteed in the case of injury and Kalil didn't get injured this season, the Vikings can cut him this offseason without penalty if they choose to do so. While Kalil wasn't nearly as bad as he was in 2014, that only really raises his level of play to "not awful," and $11 million is a lot to give a guy to simply be "not awful." On the other hand, left tackles don't exactly grow on trees, and if the Vikings did cut ties with him, the left tackle position would immediately jump to the top of their list of offseason needs. The Vikings might try to work out a short-term deal for a significantly lower salary figure.

OT Phil Loadholt - Cap figure: $7.75M, $1.75M dead money if cut, cap savings of $6M

The other tackle spot presents another interesting issue with Loadholt, the long-time stalwart at the position, having a pretty big cap figure. He finished the 2014 season on injured reserve, and was lost for 2015 with a torn Achilles in the second preseason game. He's entering the final year of his contract, and I haven't seen any updates anywhere that say how he's been progressing in his injury rehab. For a guy at Loadholt's position, and of Loadholt's size, an Achilles injury is nothing to sneeze at. He's always been more of a road grader than a guy known for his mobility, and that could be hampered even further by this. Looking at it from another angle, though, rookie T.J. Clemmings didn't exactly set the world on fire in Loadholt's place, but a lot of that could be attributed to youth in a year the Vikings hoped to use to develop him a bit. The Vikings' coaching staff will have a better idea of what's going on with the big man, injury-wise, than any of us. . .which is good, because his rehab from this injury will likely be the key to whether or not he's back next year.

C John Sullivan - Cap figure: $5.83M, $0.67M dead money if cut, cap savings of $5.13M

Sullivan is in the same boat as Loadholt, as he suffered an injury in the preseason that caused him to miss all of 2015. Though he was placed on IR-return, he suffered another setback and wound up staying out all year. Sullivan has been one of the best centers in the NFL since he took over the starting job, but you have to wonder if the back injury he suffered would put that in jeopardy. Once your back is screwed up, it generally only gets worse. Honestly, who's the last person you met that "used to have" a bad back? Throw in that Sullivan is now on the wrong side of 30, and it wouldn't be surprising to see the Vikings either let him go or, at the very least, attempt to negotiate his salary down a bit.

DE Brian Robison - Cap figure: $5.05M, $2M dead money if cut, cap savings of $3.05M

It's not that Robison has been a bad player in recent years. . .he's actually been pretty good. But he, along with Chad Greenway, are the longest-tenured members of the team, and you have to wonder if or when the slowdown might be coming. Throw in the emergence of rookie Danielle Hunter this season, and it might be tough to keep Robison around at a starter's salary. He, like Greenway, is likely going to have to start looking at a reduced role sooner rather than later. Robison has shown his versatility by shifting to the tackle spot in pass rushing situations, and that versatility might be enough to keep him around, but his cap figure might have to go down in order to do so.

The link to the rest of the Vikings' 2016 salary cap figures, as they stand now, are linked above. Are there any players that you think could end up getting cut or restructured this offseason?