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Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Mock!

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NCAA Football: Hawaii at Wyoming Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Well this season has been great! 12-3 and a chance to get to 13-3 and have a first round bye and maybe even home field advantage throughout the season is a fantastic place to be as a Vikings fan. I couldn't really ask for more but, to be honest, having the QB situation settled for next year would be a cherry on top of the season thus far. This is not going to happen so I assume there will be debates out the ying yang all the way up until someone is signed. And then it still wont end. I love it!

Trying to speculate about the draft next year requires a little quick review of the salary cap next year and possible contract extensions, restructures, or voids (i.e., someone getting released). Right now the Vikings have about 11.245 mil in cap space (according to spotrac). Next year's projected cap space is projected to be 174 and 178 mil. The Vikings have 39 players under contract for about 126 mil in cap space leaving about 48 mil. And in the 11 mil or so and they will have roughly 60 mil (using the 174 mil cap number) and possible more if the cap is above 174 mil.

The Vikings have these players under contract next year and here are there contract numbers (according to spotrac) ...

Player | Pos | Cap Hit

Pat Elflein | C | $871,210

Danny Isidora | G | $605,484

Nick Easton | G | RFA

Jeremiah Sirles | G | RFA

Riley Reiff | T | $11,400,000

Mike Remmers | T | $4,600,000

Rashod Hill | T | $630,000

Aviante Collins | T | $560,000

Kyle Rudolph | TE | $7,300,000

Blake Bell | TE | $705,000

David Morgan | TE | $663,864

Kyle Carter | TE | $555,000

Adam Thielen | WR | $4,500,000

Jarius Wright | WR | $4,260,000

Laquon Treadwell | WR | $2,709,539

Stefon Diggs | WR | $761,929

Stacy Coley | WR | $627,510

Latavius Murray | RB | $6,350,000

Dalvin Cook | RB | $1,443,939

C.J. Ham | RB | $555,000

Mack Brown | RB | ERFA

Kyle Sloter | QB | ERFA

Everson Griffen | DE | $11,600,000

Brian Robison | DE | $3,500,000

Danielle Hunter | DE | $892,306

Stephen Weatherly | DE | $630,000

Tashawn Bower | DE | $560,000

Linval Joseph | DT | $8,050,000

Jaleel Johnson | DT | $724,588

Anthony Barr | LB | $12,306,000

Eric Kendricks | LB | $1,640,520

Ben Gedeon | LB | $713,286

Kentrell Brothers | LB | $688,170

Eric Wilson | LB | $558,333

Shaan Washington | LB | $556,666

Xavier Rhodes | CB | $13,400,000

Trae Waynes | CB | $4,118,663

Mackensie Alexander | CB | $1,177,174

Harrison Smith | S | $10,000,000

Andrew Sendejo | S | $3,500,000

Jayron Kearse | S | $646,056

Anthony Harris | S | RFA

Kevin McDermott | LS | $925,000

Ryan Quigley | P | $790,000

... the unrestricted free agents are ...

Sam Bradford QB

Case Keenum QB

Teddy Bridgewater QB

Jerick McKinnon RB

Bishop Sankey RB

Michael Floyd WR

Joe Berger G

Sharrif Floyd DT

Tom Johnson DT

Shamar Stephen DT

Emmanuel Lamar LB

Terrence Newman CB

Marcus Sherels CB

Tramaine Brock CB

Kai Forbath K

Obviously the first priority is at QB. I think they likely will only be able to keep one of the three. If they offer Keenum a contract worth 18 mil per year or more then convincing either of the other two to stick around for a lot less and as a backup is unlikely. Same goes if they offer Teddy or Sam the higher deal.

At running back, I could see them not offering McKinnon enough that will stop him from testing the market and I expect he would get slightly more on the open market. It's possible they could cut Murray and keep McKinnon for less but they would still likely want a thumper.

At guard, I could see them offering Berger a modest deal but it really comes down to if he wants to keep playing and if they believe he will still be productive at age 36 (he turns 36 May 26, 2018). Tough call really and he could retire on his own. I think a guard needs to be added in free agency or the draft.

At tackle, I could see another player being added because Remmers has only played 55% of the snaps. Hill could be the possible starter and Collins is still developing.

At tight end, they might make an upgrade over Bell and Carter.

At receiver, they likely will bring in some more competition and could possibly re-sign Floyd to another modest deal. It would be a better situation if Treadwell could contribute more. A lot more. They likely will begin discussion with Diggs and a Thielen type deal although I expect Diggs will want slightly more.

At defensive tackle I could see them offering Johnson and Stephen new deals. They might add someone in the draft or could expect Dylan Bradley to make the jump from the practice squad.

At defensive end, I think they look good but could decide to move on from Robison. I think he has done more than enough to stay and finish out his career in Minnesota and next year is his last under contract. I think they should begin talks with Hunter too.

At linebacker, I expect not much will be done besides adding some late round draft pick or undrafted free agent to compete. I think they will extend Barr and begin discussions with Kendricks.

At cornerback, I think they could offer Newman a new one year deal but that depends on if he wants to keep playing. I could see another draft pick being added early too because Zimmer loves corners. They may or may not extend Waynes after his 5th year and it could prove to be too costly to even try. I am not sure what they will do with Sherels but I think they should really look to find someone who they could plug in at corner and that has upside there.

At safety, they could look to add someone in the draft or maybe Tocho makes a claim to a spot.

The 60 mil in cap space can be gone very quickly just by signing one of the QBs and more than a few of the in house free agents. I think they could possibly do these contracts ...

3 year at 18 mil per year to Keenum or Bridgewater

5 year at 10.5 mil per year to Barr

5 year at 10 mil per year to Kendricks

5 year at 10.5 mil per year to Hunter

4 year at 8.5 mil per year to Diggs

2 year at 4 mil per year to Johnson

.. this should leave enough to sign Easton, Sirles, Harris, and possibly Newman, Stephen, Sherels, and the kicker. They would have to structure the deals in a way that allows for these other signings as they seldom have the contracts totally evenly spread out per year. The signing bonuses will bring down the first and second year totals.

I would not be surprised at all if they decided to let Diggs, Hunter, and Kendricks play out their final year and then try to sign them towards the end of next season. They all would be unrestricted free agents after the 2018 season so this could be risky.

The Vikings should be drafted #32 of course. But I expect pick #30 at the worst.

TRADES

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

SENT: FUTURE ROUND 2 PICK

RECEIVED: ROUND: 3 PICK: 8 & ROUND: 4 PICK: 29

30: R1P30 QB JOSH ALLEN WYOMING

NCAA Football: Potato Bowl-Central Michigan vs Wyoming Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

62: R2P30 TE MARK ANDREWS OKLAHOMA

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

72: R3P8 G WILL HERNANDEZ UTEP

94: R3P30 EDGE MARCUS DAVENPORT UTSA

131: R4P29 WR ANTHONY MILLER MEMPHIS

NCAA Football: Kansas at Memphis Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

169: R5P30 S GODWIN IGWEBUIKE NORTHWESTERN

NCAA Football: Bowling Green at Northwestern Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

208: R6P30 RB AKRUM WADLEY IOWA

NCAA Football: Illinois at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

215: R6P37 C BRADLEY BOZEMAN ALABAMA

NCAA Football: Western Kentucky at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

218: R6P40 DL P.J. HALL SAM HOUSTON STATE

Now I know some would think it is a waste of a first round pick to select Josh Allen. I think the Vikings have shown that they will trade away a first round pick (which has not brought back any value) and some of the first round picks have proven to not be worth it thus far.

I actually believe the Vikings would have to trade up to get Allen and I would be in favor of them doing this kind of move too.

Once they sign one of the players they currently have to a new deal that new deal is likely going to be only 2 to 3 years in terms of guaranteed money. In the meantime, Allen will be getting groomed. I like it a lot.

If they could then get Andrews that would be pretty sweet to start off the draft. To me.

Trading away a future 2nd to get Hernandez & Anthony Miller may prove to be very good value.

Here is a new draft trade chart ...

https://www.patspulpit.com/2017/4/23/15398184/2017-nfl-draft-creating-a-brand-new-nfl-draft-value-trade-chart

Here is another mock ...

TRADES

MIAMI DOLPHINS

SENT: ROUND: 1 PICK: 30

RECEIVED: ROUND: 2 PICK: 12 & ROUND: 3 PICK: 12

CLEVELAND BROWNS

SENT: FUTURE ROUND 3 PICK

RECEIVED: ROUND: 4 PICK: 24 & ROUND: 5 PICK: 25

ARIZONA CARDINALS

SENT: ROUND: 5 PICK: 25 &ROUND: 6 PICK: 40

RECEIVED: ROUND: 5 PICK: 13 & ROUND: 7 PICK: 23

44: R2P12 DL DARON PAYNE ALABAMA

62: R2P30 TE DALLAS GOEDERT SOUTH DAKOTA STATE

76: R3P12 C BILLY PRICE OHIO STATE

94: R3P30 WR DANTE PETTIS WASHINGTON

126: R4P24 CB HOLTON HILL TEXAS

152: R5P13 RB BO SCARBROUGH ALABAMA

169: R5P30 LB KEISHAWN BIERRIA WASHINGTON

208: R6P30 EDGE JOE OSTMAN CENTRAL MICHIGAN

215: R6P37 WR JAKE WIENEKE SOUTH DAKOTA STATE

242: R7P23 CB DANNY JOHNSON SOUTHERN

I wish everyone Happy Holidays!