If your primary criteria for selecting a future quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings from this year’s class of free agents is how much it will cost the team, one of the internet’s bigger salary cap tracking sites has started projecting “Market Value” costs for some of the players at the position.
With free agency now less than a month away, the folks at Spotrac have started putting together what they view as “Market Value” for free agents at all positions. Obviously, as Vikings fans, we’re most interested in the quarterback spot right now, and there’s a significant gap in compensation in the projections involved with the names that have been connected to Minnesota thus far.
Keep in mind, the Market Value assessment doesn’t take certain things into account, such as whether a player might actually be inclined to take less from a certain team or whether or not the dearth of quality among this year’s free agent group at the position could actually drive values higher than this. This appears to be based almost entirely off of statistical comparisons to other quarterbacks.
The highest-ticket item in this year’s group, as you’d expect, is a slightly used Kirk Cousins. Spotrac has Cousins’ fair market value set at a five-year deal worth $128,167,080. (That’s an awfully exact number, isn’t it?) That comes out to an average of about $25.6 million annually. For reference, they’ve also done one for Drew Brees (who isn’t leaving New Orleans) and have his value set at an even $25 million a season. That makes Cousins the highest-valued quarterback by Spotrac in free agency for this year.
As you’d probably expect, Case Keenum’s value from Spotrac is lower. . .but not significantly so. Spotrac has Keenum’s fair market contract set at a four-year deal worth a total of $84,514,516, or right around $21.1 million/year. Obviously, Keenum doesn’t have the statistical record that Cousins has, which is what a lot of this is based off of. They are the same age, so that doesn’t have an effect on anything here.
Spotrac has also put together a fair market value analysis for Teddy Bridgewater. Not surprisingly, he’s got a significantly lower value than the other two quarterbacks for reasons that we’ve already gone over ad nauseum in other pieces on this site. Compared to Cousins and Keenum, you can practically find Bridgewater in the bargain bin, as Spotrac has put his fair market value at a three-year deal worth $32,921,849. That’s just shy of $11 million/season. By contrast, if the Vikings had picked up the fifth-year option on his contract last year, he’d be looking at around $12 million for this season.
The folks from Spotrac have not put together anything like this for Sam Bradford, unfortunately. With his injury history, it would be interesting to see where they value him at.
From a purely financial standpoint, Teddy Bridgewater would appear to be the fiscally responsible. . .i.e. “cheap”. . .choice at the position. Of course, there are numerous factors that also make him the biggest question mark by a significant margin. I would like to think that the next few weeks will offer us more insight into the quarterback position in Minnesota, but I’ve also been doing this long enough to know that the likelihood of that actually being the case is relatively slim.