It is time for another off season plan after the NFL Combine and right before free agency starts.
There are some nice looking players hitting free agency.
Obviously all the rage is about Kirk Cousins and rightfully so IMO.
Will the Vikings make a strong push for him? Will he accept a very good deal? We shall see but based on his own words it does seem like the Vikings have the best shot at landing him. The rest of the roster is rock solid with just a couple of spots that they could upgrade.
Let’s get right to it. The salary cap is 177.2 mil.
I used spotrac to manage the roster (they have a feature here) and sign free agents. I use fanspeak too but not for this one.
Here is what spotrac has right now ... http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/minnesota-vikings/cap/
Adjusted Salary Cap $190,929,203
Active Contracts: $142,654,897
Dead Cap: $656,445
Draft Pool Cap: $5,370,290
2017 Rollover: $13,729,203
Total (All): $143,311,342
Total (Top 51): $142,831,342
Est. Cap Space (All): $47,617,861
Est. Cap Space (Top 51): $48,097,861
Here are the first moves ...
1. Released Sharrif Floyd (Saved: $6,757,000)
2. Released/Retired Brian Robison (Saved: $2,237,500)*
3. Restructured Latavius Murray (Saved: $2,180,000)
4. Restructured Jarius Wright (Saved: $1,405,000)
Total Saved: $12,579,500
Updated Est. Cap Space (All): $60,197,361
Here are the free agent signings ...
1. Kirk Cousins QB - 5 yr 125 mil, 45 mil signing bonus, 74 mil guar at signing, 91 mil in first 3 years guar for injury (Cap hit: $22,100,000)
cap hits in year 2 thru 5 are 25, 26, 26, & 26. We shall see if he is willing to sacrifice no?
1. Kirk Cousins QB - 5 yr 140 mil, 45 mil signing bonus, 72 mil guar at signing, 91 mil in first 3 years guar for injury (Cap hit: $22,100,000)
cap hits in year 2 thru 5 are 23, 28, 34, & 34.
2. Justin Pugh OG - 5 yr 40 mil, 5 mil signing bonus, 16 mil guar (Cap hit: $5,100,000)
3. DaQuan Jones DT - 3 yr 9 mil, 1.5 mil signing bonus, 3.5 mil guar (Cap: $2,600,000)
4. Denico Autry DE/DT - 2 yr 5 mil, 1 mil roster bonus, 2.5 mil guar (Cap hit: $2,600,000)
5. Nickell Robey-Coleman CB - 2 yr 7 mil, 2 mil signing bonus, 1 mil roster bonus, 4 mil guar (Cap: $3,100,000)
6. Nick Easton OG - 1 yr 2 mil, 500K guar (Cap $2,000,000)
Total Spent: $37,500,000
Updated Est. Cap Space (All): $22,697,361
Here is the published version
The signing of Autry depends on if Robison retires. If he does not then there is no need.
So after signing 5 free agents including the Big Kahuna, the Vikings still have 22.697 mil.
They can give Barr a 4 year 44 mil deal with a 8 mil signing bonus and salaries of 8,8,10,&10 mil. The cap hits would be 10,10,12,&12 mil.
This adds 2.3 mil to the cap since he already is on the books for 12.3 mil.
Updated Est. Cap Space (All): $24,997,361
This is more than enough to extend Diggs, Hunter, and Kendricks later.I would offer Diggs a 4 yr 42 mil deal, Kendricks a 4 yr 34 mil deal, & Hunter a 5 yr 70 mil deal.
Depending on the structure the cap hits could be anything. I am going with deals costing 9.632 mil more in 2018. They already count about 5.6 mil now.
You still need the 5.3 mil for rookies. But they would essentially replace some players at the bottom of the roster in terms of cap hit. If you add 8 to 9 rookies then you would remove 8 to 9 players at the bottom of the roster which right now is about 500K each. Basically it would only cost 1 to 2 mil to sign the rookies.
The extensions for the in house free agents and money for rookies would leave the Vikings with about 13.365 mil that they could still use to get some other players.
In this plan I like signing Pugh to replace Berger.
I would love to sign Andrew Norwell and there is money to do it but I doubt they would go for it and Norwell is more of a power blocker.
I could see them signing another veteran DT for cheap too. Maybe a Jay Bromley or Beau Allen? Maybe Shamar Stephen comes back after testing the market. They may even consider going after Richardson instead of Jones.
Having the 13 mil gives them a lot of flexibility and they could create more too by extending Rudolph two years.
Heading to the draft the roster looks pretty good.
You need another backup QB, another offensive guard or tackle depending on how you feel about Remmers, another tight end (unless you really like Bell), a solid defensive tackle since this plan only has 3 plus Autry, another linebacker because Lamur is gone, and another CB since Sherels is not re-signed. Yet.
I think you have to look at the draft and look at your free agents that could be moving on or asked to take large pay cuts in a couple of years.
Now I will use fanspeak for the mock draft.
Big Board Selected: Bleacher Report - Matt Miller
Here is a new trade chart I consult often ...
SENT: ROUND: 1 PICK: 30
RECEIVED: ROUND: 2 PICK: 8, ROUND: 3 PICK: 35, & ROUND: 7 PICK: 7
SENT: ROUND: 3 PICK: 30 & ROUND: 6 PICK: 39
RECEIVED: ROUND: 3 PICK: 25
SENT: FUTURE ROUND 3 PICK
RECEIVED: ROUND: 4 PICK: 31 & ROUND: 5 PICK: 32
SENT: ROUND: 5 PICK: 30 & ROUND: 6 PICK: 44
RECEIVED: ROUND: 5 PICK: 17 & ROUND: 7 PICK: 20
40: R2P8 OT KOLTON MILLER UCLA
62: R2P30 DL TAVEN BRYAN FLORIDA
89: R3P25 TE MIKE GESICKI PENN STATE
99: R3P35 WR EQUANIMEOUS ST. BROWN NOTRE DAME
131: R4P31 CB QUENTON MEEKS STANFORD
154: R5P17 RB BO SCARBROUGH ALABAMA
169: R5P32 EDGE ADE ARUNA TULANE
204: R6P30 DL NATHAN SHEPHERD FORT HAYS STATE
225: R7P7 LB OREN BURKS VANDERBILT
238: R7P20 S PENN STATE
RB ITO SMITH SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI
G BRIAN ALLEN MICHIGAN STATE
G COLBY GOSSETT APPALACHIAN STATE
WR QUADREE HENDERSON PITTSBURGH
QB CHASE LITTON MARSHALL
K EDDY PINIERO FLORIDA
CB AVONTE MADDOX PITTSBURGH
CB DANE CRUIKSHANK ARIZONA
LB GENARD AVERY - MEMPHIS
DL P.J. HALL - SAM HOUSTON STATE
First let me say that most of these players wont be in the rounds that they were in the fanspeak draft engine. But they were today!
Trading out of the first round could be not very popular with proponents of the 5th year option but the difference in the ability of the players from pick #30 thru #40 is not that large. Getting an extra late 3rd & a 7th was worth it to me.
Kolton Miller may win the starting right tackle job and if he does not it is OK. He can be groomed to take over for Remmers if Remmers kicks inside.
Bryan is a hot name in draft circles and could go early. But he does not have a lot of production and his draft value is tied to his traits. He could be available at the end of round 2.
Mike Gesecki at #89 is laughable for sure. I cannot see that after he tested well at the combine. Not sure why he is rated as low still.
Trading the future 3rd will definitely be met with disapproval. But I am thinking the team will get a 3rd round comp pick next year. Now maybe Meeks and Scarborough may not be worth it. That is a different story.
Also, another QB will be needed and a kicker. I am sure they can find someone. Maybe they sign an UDFA.
QB - Cousins, Sloter, Kaepernick? RG3? :)
RB - Cook, Murray, Brown, Scarbrough
FB - Ham
TE - Rudolph, Morgan, Bell, Gesicki
WR - Thielen, Treadwell, Jones, St. Brown
WR - Diggs, Wright, Coley, Zylstra
LT - Reiff, Hill, Joseph
LG - Pugh, Andrews
OC - Elflein, Edison
RG - Easton, Isidora, Lang
RT - Remmers, Collins, Miller, Norton
DE - Griffen, Weatherly, Bower
DT - Jones, J. Johnson, Lyons, Bryan
DT - Joseph, Shepherd
DE - Hunter, Autry, Odenigbo, Aruna
LB - Barr, Wilson, Williams
LB - Kendricks, Brothers, Washington
LB - Gedeon, Burks
CB - Rhodes, Meeks, Tocho
CB - Waynes, Richardson
CB - Alexander, Robey-Coleman
S - Smith, Harris
S - Sendejo, Kearse, Apke
P - Quigley
LS - McDermott
K - Sturgis?
Here is alternative #1.
I used fanspeak on the clock premium to do this mock
Big Board Selected: Composite
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
SENT: FUTURE ROUND 2 PICK
RECEIVED: ROUND: 3 PICK: 22 & ROUND: 4 PICK: 22
SENT: ROUND: 5 PICK: 30 & ROUND: 6 PICK: 39
RECEIVED: ROUND: 5 PICK: 19 & ROUND: 7 PICK: 8
30: R1P30 DL TAVEN BRYAN FLORIDA
62: R2P30 EDGE ARDEN KEY LSU
86: R3P22 TE DALLAS GOEDERT SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
94: R3P30 C FRANK RAGNOW ARKANSAS
122: R4P22 QB LUKE FALK WASHINGTON STATE
156: R5P19 WR MICHAEL GALLUP COLORADO STATE
204: R6P30 LB OREN BURKS VANDERBILT
218: R6P44 S GODWIN IGWEBUIKE NORTHWESTERN
226: R7P8 K EDDY PINIERO FLORIDA
I might like this one better as usual.
With this plan, you can insert a different QB instead of Cousins and it would just mean that you have more remaining cap space and could front load one or two of the current player extensions or go after another high priced free agent. I just do not really see one they should target.
Well, have at it if you want.