By my rough estimate and without all the new signings being posted to the sites that contain cap figures, the Vikings should have about 13 mil left but need to set aside 6 mil for the rookie pool. This leaves them with another 7 mil to do any other things.
I must admit I am underwhelmed by the efforts in free agency this off season. I am disappointed in that it appears to me that they did not go hard enough after their top targets. They chose to not spend more than they were willing which is fine. But sometimes I wish they would spend a little more to get the players that appeared to be their first choice. There are some players on the team now with contracts that many would be considered to be too much.
I like the Boone and Lamur signings thus far. The rest are just OK. Griffin may make the team but if the plan now is to have him and Sendejo battle it out for the starting spot then it is definitely a disappointment. I do not believe any rookie is going to step into the starting lineup right away either.
I think the offensive line signings are interesting and I am not sure of the strategy. They have signed Andre Smith and he is set to make 3.5 mil with a chance to earn an additional 1 mil.
The the Vikings now have these cap hits for 2016 along the offensive line ...
Matt Kalil - 11.1 mil
Alex Boone - 6.7 mil
John Sullivan - 5.8 mil
Brandon Fusco - 4.05 mil
Phil Loadholt - 3.75 mil
Andre Smith - 3.5 mil
Mike Harris - 2 mil
Joe Berger - 1.44 mil
TJ Clemmings - 656k
Jeremiah Sirles - 600k
Austin Shepherd - 542k
Zac Kerin - 525k
Nick Easton - 535k
Carter Bykowski - 525k
... this is 41.7 mil in cap space used for the offensive line and 36.1 mil for the top 9.
I was surprised to see Smith receive a 1 mil bonus and Loadholt gets nothing. I often have debates with other fans about how the Vikings "honor" their contracts and that is a reason why free agents would want to come here. Funny that they did not "honor" Loadholt's deal no? I do not believe they should have since he has been paid the last year and a half while injured but the fact remains.
I cannot see Smith or Loadholt being happy if they are on the bench. I think they probably want to try and play well enough to earn a new deal next off season. I wonder if Loadholt is upset? He probably thought he would be competing with Clemmings. Now they bring in Smith and give him 1 mil bucks. Do the math. I hope that it truly is an an open competition.
I do not understand giving Smith and Loadholt possibly 4.5 mil and 3.5 mil next season. If Smith starts then the number would be about 6.5 mil. Why not go after Mitchell Schwartz and pay him what KC gave him which was 5 year 33 mil (6.6 mil per year)? It is practically the same that Smith and Loadholt are going to receive. Maybe Schwartz was not interested due to how his brother left? If it was not that then it had to be money. Everything else is there. Winning team, young potential franchise QB, good coach, good defense, "best" running back in the NFL, brand new stadium, etc. I mean what is not to like? It had to be the money if there was indeed interest.
It is frustrating because Smith has not played well the last two years possibly due to playing hurt. Loadholt and Sullivan are trying to return from injuries and may or may not be able to get back to their previous playing levels. Fusco has to go back to the right side and hope to regain his previous level. Kalil is a crap shoot basically. He may play decent, he may play well, or he may play lousy. Your guess is as good as mine.
I mean I just do not see the upgrade on the line besides Boone. Everything else is wishful thinking. If they would have gotten Schwartz and Boone then maybe now you are talking about a little more comfort. You have to go back a few years to find when the offensive linemen on the Vikings last had a good season on the field of play? Boone played decent last year and maybe Kalil if you want to be generous (most folks would say no).
I do not see all of these higher priced players making the final 53 and I believe that someone is going to get traded or flat out cut. And I am not the only one.
I know all fans want to feel excited about these signings and hopeful that they all will regain their previous forms. But that is a lot to gamble upon. It is definitely reasonable to have some level of concern.
It appears to me that the Vikings approach to free agency has been ...
Let's throw enough stuff on the wall and see what sticks
... Maybe it will work? Maybe it is better like that?
What is not a maybe is that the Vikings will be right back here next off season trying to sign offensive linemen. They have Kalil, Loadholt, Smith, Harris, and Berger all up for new deals after this season provided they all make the team.
I will not get into the safety position but Zimmer said they need to get better and I do not know how that has been accomplished. Again, if Griffin can play like he use to back in 2010 then maybe but that was 6 years ago. More wishful thinking.
Now, after having expressed my dismay, concerns, whatever, here are some free agent grades from around the web ...
Walter likes the offensive line signings and thinks they could bring big dividends. He did not like the Sendejo signing which is no surprise. You will have to check the link to see what Walter said and maybe check out some other things there as I find it a good site.
Perhaps I am too harsh on these free agent signings? It could work out great but they come with legitimate uncertainty in terms of performance on the field. Again, the Vikings could be in the same position next off season looking for multiple linemen. That is why signing a Mitchell Schwartz would have been really nice.
But what's done is done. Time to move onto the draft.
What will they do? What should they do? You got to think they need a receiver no? I mean come on. They are spending a ton of money on the line and none at receiver. I will say that the deals that Marvin Jones and Mohammed Sanu received were way too high even for me. Even Travis Benjamin received a pretty generous deal.
I have a feeling that Spielman may have some trades he is contemplating. Here is one trade idea that may be a pipe dream or may not?
The Arizona Cardinals have a receiver entering his last year of his deal and is making 7.32 mil. He is Michael Floyd. He did not play much his first year and then missed 10 games last year. They are unlikely to franchise tag him after this season because they have multiple players due for new deals. Calais Campbell, Chandler Jones, Tyrann Mathieu, Tony Jefferson, Andre Ellington, Kevin Minter, and some others.
I wonder if they would take CP84 and a 4th or 5th?
Back to the draft thoughts. It seems a receiver is in order but maybe not to the point where the Vikings would take one in the 1st round.
I used the fanspeak on the clock premimum site to do these mocks. http://fanspeak.com/ontheclock/premium/
Trade 1: The Vikings trade 1.23 to Denver for the 1.31, 3.32, & 7.32 picks
1.31 Jason Spriggs OT Indiana Sr 6-6 301 4.94 forty 31 reps
2.54 Derrick Henry RB Alabama Jr 6-3 247 4.54 forty 22 reps
3.86 Braxton Miller WR Ohio State rSr 6-1 201 4.41 forty (at pro day) 17 reps
3.94 Sean Davis FS Maryland Sr 6-1 201 4.46 forty 21 reps 6.64 3cone 3.97 20SS
4.122 Hassan Ridgeway DT Texas rJr 6-3 303 5.02 forty 22 reps
5.161 Nick Kwiatkoski ILB West Virginia rSr 6-2 243 4.73 forty 19 reps
6.181 Kevin Hogan QB Stanford rSr 6-3 218 4.78 forty
7.241 Ricardo Louis WR Auburn Sr 6-2 215 4.43 forty 18 reps
7.245 Ryan Smith CB North Carolina Central rSr 5-11 189 4.47 forty 18 bench
7.254 Caleb Benenoch OT UCLA Jr 6-5 305 4.98 forty
Montese Overton OLB 22 East Carolina rSr 6-2 223
Drew Kaser P 2 Texas A&M rSr 6-2 212
Dan Vitale FB 2 Northwestern Sr 6-1 239
Kavon Frazier FS 9 Central Michigan Sr 6-0 217
Matt Skura C 8 Duke rSr 6-3 305
Jake McGee TE 15 Florida rSr 6-5 250
Quinton Jefferson DT 22 Maryland rJr 6-4 291
Darrell Greene OG 19 San Diego State rSr 6-3 321
Matt Judon DE 15 Grand Valley State rSr 6-3 275
Here is another mock ...
Trade 1 - The Vikings trade 1.23 to the Seahawks for 1.26 & 4.26
Trade 2 - The Vikings trade 3.23 to the Patriots for 3.29 & 6.21
1.26: Reggie Ragland ILB 1 Alabama Sr 6-1 247
2.54: Vernon Butler DT 6 Louisiana Tech Sr 6-4 323
3.92: Keanu Neal FS 10 Florida Jr 6-0 211
4.122: Pharoh Cooper WR 7 South Carolina Jr 5-11 203
4.125: Jordan Howard RB 6 Indiana Jr 6-0 230
5.161: Jerell Adams TE 4 South Carolina Sr 6-5 247
6.181: James Bradberry CB 19 Samford rSr 6-1 211
6.197: Joe Dahl OG 12 Washington State rSr 6-4 304
7.241: Kevin Hogan QB 10 Stanford rSr 6-3 218
7.245: Keyarris Garrett WR 15 Tulsa rSr 6-3 220
It is hard to say which one I like better but I suppose the first one may make more sense. Spriggs provides some insurance for next season. The Vikings would not have to draft a tackle in Kalil is not re-signed. Adding Henry is for obvious reasons. Miller will be a work in progress but he has all the tools. Davis played some corner as wellaas as safety which is valuable in today's NFL. I had to get a defensive tackle in this deep defensive tackle class. Kwiatkoski is an intriguing linebacker prospect who once played safety in high school. I think the Vikings need to grab a developmental QB and I would do it every year until you are sure you have your backup. Louis is another intriguing receiver who needs more time but he has all the tools as well. Smith is an interesting corner with good measure-ables. Benonoch is another athletic tackle who will need time developing too.
The second draft is probably better to me because ti strengthens the defense even more.
Well, now that free agency is pretty much over I can mock until I go crazy. Or is it too late for that?