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Vikings Off Season Plan v2.0

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Oregon v Arizona State Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Now that the Super Bowl match-up and the top 30 draft positions are set we can really dive into the possibilities for 2020. Obviously, there has been some coaching changes which I am not qualified to say is good or bad so I will stick with it’s okay.

The Vikings are under the cap and have to do some serious gymnastics. I was motivated to do this version because there seems to be a belief among some fans that the Vikings do not have many options to get enough space under the cap and that they cannot be players in the free agent market. They may choose not to be active but that is a different discussion.

So without further ado I am presenting a sort of dream scenario for me ...

I am using the overthecap calculator to make moves because they allow you to extend players and to set the restructure amount. I am using fanspeak for the mock. Their Ultimate GM simulator is OK but it does not allow extensions and it determines the restructure amounts.

https://overthecap.com/calculator/minnesota-vikings/

Here is what overthecap has to start. I believe the ($9,673,264) amount includes 5 mil for the rookie pool which is unnecessary until the final 53 cut down. Here is an article that explains this fact.

https://overthecap.com/explaining-the-nfl-rookie-pool-and-its-impact-on-the-salary-cap/


Cap space by season

Year - Total Liabilities - Salary Cap (Projected) - Cap Room

2020 - $210,679,240 - $201,005,976 - ($9,673,264)

2021 - $177,070,807 - $201,005,976 - $23,935,169

2022 - $136,829,266 - $201,005,976 - $64,176,710

2023 - $79,130,000 - $201,005,976 - $121,875,976

2024 - $16,000,000 - $201,005,976 - $185,005,976

The first moves are easy to suggest if you are not actually running the team.

Griffen’s deal can void if he wants or the team can release him to free the cap space. Either way he is not going to have that cap number in 2020.

Rhodes seems to be a popular player to release which may or may not happen. I can see the Vikings trying to restructure Rhodes especially if they anticipate not being able to extend Waynes and Alexander.

Cutting Reiff would create a huge need for a left tackle or right tackle if they want to move O’Neil over which I think is not a bad idea. Tyron Smith and Nate Solder both started off on the right side. Seeing as O'Neill played his last season at Pitt at left tackle it should not be too tough for him to reacclimate. I think Reiff’s 13 mil cap hit may be too much to leave as is and unless they are going to extend him a season or two there is not much room to restructure. I think it would be difficult to ask him to take a pay cut too.

Cutting Joseph would be the hardest thing to do and restructuring his deal would free up some money this season and then make it much easier to release him next season. But we will leave it as it is for now but keep it as a consideration.

Release Griffen, Rhodes, Joseph, Reiff

Year - Total Liabilities - Salary Cap (Projected) - Cap Room

2020 - $170,129,240 - $201,005,976 - $30,876,736

2021 - $122,120,807 - $201,005,976 - $78,885,169

2022 - $94,979,266 - $201,005,976 - $106,026,710

2023 - $79,130,000 - $201,005,976 - $121,875,976

2024 - $16,000,000 - $201,005,976 - $185,005,976


These next moves do not require player permission. In large contracts, teams have included the ability for them to restructure.

https://www.profootballrumors.com/2019/06/nfl-restructuring-contracts

Restructure Diggs - $6,000,000 of 2020 salary saves 5,000,000

Restructure Thielen - $3,500,000 of 2020 salary saves 2,800,000

Restructure Barr - $4,000,000 of 2020 salary saves 3,000,000

Restructure Hunter - $5,000,000 of 2020 salary saves 3,750,000

Year - Total Liabilities - Salary Cap (Projected) - Cap Room

2020 - $156,079,240 - $201,005,976 - $44,926,736

2021 - $126,570,807 - $201,005,976 - $74,435,169

2022 - $99,424,266 - $201,005,976 - $101,581,710

2023 - $83,580,000 - $201,005,976 - $117,425,976

2024 - $16,700,000 - $201,005,976 - $184,305,976


Extend Trae Waynes with a 4 year 36 mil deal

contract comps Bradley Roby, Justin Coleman, Steven Nelson

Year - Total Liabilities - Salary Cap (Projected) - Cap Room

2020 - $160,079,240 - $201,005,976 - $40,926,736

2021 - $135,570,807 - $201,005,976 - $65,435,169

2022 - $110,924,266 - $201,005,976 - $90,081,710

2023 - $95,080,000 - $201,005,976 - $105,925,976

2024 - $16,700,000 - $201,005,976 - $184,305,976


Extend Anthony Harris with a 4 year 40 mil deal with incentives

contract comps Adrian Amos, Lamarcus Joyner

Year - Total Liabilities - Salary Cap (Projected) - Cap Room

2020 - $164,079,240 - $201,005,976 - $36,926,736

2021 - $147,570,807 - $201,005,976 - $53,435,169

2022 - $122,924,266 - $201,005,976 - $78,081,710

2023 - $107,080,000 - $201,005,976 - $93,925,976

2024 - $16,700,000 - $201,005,976 - $184,305,976


Andrew Sendejo receives 1 year 1.5 mil extension

Year - Total Liabilities - Salary Cap (Projected) - Cap Room

2020 - $165,579,240 - $201,005,976 - $35,426,736

2021 - $147,570,807 - $201,005,976 - $53,435,169

2022 - $122,924,266 - $201,005,976 - $78,081,710

2023 - $107,080,000 - $201,005,976 - $93,925,976

2024 - $16,700,000 - $201,005,976 - $184,305,976


Extend Dan Bailey with a 2 year 2 mil deal

contract comp Randy Bullock

Year - Total Liabilities - Salary Cap (Projected) - Cap Room

2020 - $167,379,240 - $201,005,976 - $33,626,736

2021 - $149,770,807 - $201,005,976 - $51,235,169

2022 - $122,924,266 - $201,005,976 - $78,081,710

2023 - $107,080,000 - $201,005,976 - $93,925,976

2024 - $16,700,000 - $201,005,976 - $184,305,976


Extend Britton Colquitt with a 2 year 2 mil deal

contract comp Jordan Berry

Year - Total Liabilities - Salary Cap (Projected) - Cap Room

2020 - $169,179,240 - $201,005,976 - $31,826,736

2021 - $151,970,807 - $201,005,976 - $49,035,169

2022 - $122,924,266 - $201,005,976 - $78,081,710

2023 - $107,080,000 - $201,005,976 - $93,925,976

2024 - $16,700,000 - $201,005,976 - $184,305,976


Extend CJ Ham with a 3 year 6 mil deal

contract comp Andy Janovich

Year - Total Liabilities - Salary Cap (Projected) - Cap Room

2020 - $170,169,240 - $201,005,976 - $30,836,736

2021 - $153,970,807 - $201,005,976 - $47,035,169

2022 - $125,424,266 - $201,005,976 - $75,581,710

2023 - $107,080,000 - $201,005,976 - $93,925,976

2024 - $16,700,000 - $201,005,976 - $184,305,976


Eric Wilson receives original round RFA tender of $2,144,000

Year - Total Liabilities - Salary Cap (Projected) - Cap Room

2020 - $171,803,240 - $201,005,976 - $29,202,736

2021 - $153,970,807 - $201,005,976 - $47,035,169

2022 - $125,424,266 - $201,005,976 - $75,581,710

2023 - $107,080,000 - $201,005,976 - $93,925,976

2024 - $16,700,000 - $201,005,976 - $184,305,976


Mannion, Treadwell, Abdullah, Hill, Jones, Dozier, Waynes, Sherels, Brothers, Weatherly, & Kearse will be free to test the market and maybe circle back.

After all these moves the Vikings have 29.2 mil left to add free agents. They have NOT extended Cousins in this plan. I think that by keeping Waynes, Harris, and Sendejo the secondary is not an urgent need. You need another safety for depth and maybe to take over for Smith one day. You need another corner just because you always need corners. But they signed 3 corners to futures contracts. The big need is an offensive tackle, defensive tackle, and an offensive guard.

In this dream plan, here is what I would do ...

Sign Joe Thuney to a 5 year 65 mil deal

comp Andrew Norwell, Brandon Brooks

Year - Total Liabilities - Salary Cap (Projected) - Cap Room

2020 - $175,793,240 - $201,005,976 - $25,212,736

2021 - $167,470,807 - $201,005,976 - $33,535,169

2022 - $139,924,266 - $201,005,976 - $61,081,710

2023 - $123,580,000 - $201,005,976 - $77,425,976

2024 - $33,200,000 - $201,005,976 - $167,805,976


Sign Jack Conklin to a 6 year 84 mil deal

comp Ja’Wuan James, Jake Matthews, Donovan Smith

Year - Total Liabilities - Salary Cap (Projected) - Cap Room

2020 - $182,283,240 - $201,005,976 - $18,722,736

2021 - $181,470,807 - $201,005,976 - $19,535,169

2022 - $154,924,266 - $201,005,976 - $46,081,710

2023 - $140,580,000 - $201,005,976 - $60,425,976

2024 - $50,200,000 - $201,005,976 - $150,805,976

2025 - $14,000,000 - $201,005,976 - $187,005,976


Sign Michael Pierce to a 3 year 15 mil deal

comp Malcolm Brown, Beau Allen

Year - Total Liabilities - Salary Cap (Projected) - Cap Room

2020 - $185,773,240 - $201,005,976 - $15,232,736

2021 - $188,470,807 - $201,005,976 - $12,535,169

2022 - $161,924,266 - $201,005,976 - $39,081,710

2023 - $140,580,000 - $201,005,976 - $60,425,976

2024 - $50,200,000 - $201,005,976 - $150,805,976

2025 - $14,000,000 - $201,005,976 - $187,005,976


These numbers reflect the projected salary cap staying the same amount in every year.

But, it is reasonable to expect the cap to go up at the same rate of 6.4% which changes the numbers to this ...

Year - Total Liabilities - Salary Cap (Projected) - Cap Room

2020 - $185,773,240 - $201,005,976 - $15,232,736

2021 - $188,470,807 - $213,811,952 - $25,341,145

2022 - $161,924,266 - $227,433,789 - $65,509,523

2023 - $140,580,000 - $241,923,466 - $101,343,466

2024 - $50,200,000 - $257,336,272 - $207,136,272

2025 - $14,000,000 - $273,731,019 - $259,731,019

That makes 2021, not look too bad considering that Dalvin Cook, Pat Elflein, Jaleel Johnson, Ben Gedeon, Aviante Collins, Ifeadi Odenigbo, Holtin Hill, Mike Boone, Hercules Mata’afa, Chad Beebe, Cameron Smith, & Alexander Hollins all could be free agents.

In 2021, some possible cuts could be Rudolph (save 5.1 mil), Kline (save 5 mil), & Stephen (save 3.75 mil). Smith has no dead money so if he were gone they would save 10.25 mil. Perhaps he will get another couple of years.

Just with Rudolph, Kline, & Stephen an additional 14.85 mil would be available bringing the total to about 40 mil. Also, the remaining 15.2 mil in 2020 has to have 5 mil removed for the rookies. But the other 10 mil could carry over if unused. They can extend Cook with some of this amount as well.

I think adding two years to Cook’s deal makes sense. Give him a 12 mil signing bonus and salaries of 7.5 mil & 9.5 mil in 2021 & 2022. They can guarantee 20.8 mil which is the first two years. They could add some hefty incentives based on games or snaps played as well as performance goals being reached. This would average out to 10.1 mil per year with the chance to go higher. But that is not in this plan either.


Heading into the draft the roster would look like this ...

QB - Cousins, Browning

RB - Cook, Mattison, Boone

FB - Ham, Brooks-James

WR - Thielen, Diggs, Johnson, Beebe, Hollins, Mitchell, Davis

TE - Rudolph, Smith, Morgan, Conklin, Dillon

LT - O’Neill, Collins

LG - Thuney, Elflein

OC - Bradbury, Keenoy

RG - Kline, Samia

RT - Conklin, Udoh

DE - Hunter, Odenigbo, Mata’afa, Yarbrough

DT - Pierce, Stephen, Johnson, Holmes, Watts

LB - Barr, Kendricks, Wilson, Gedeon, Smith

CB - Waynes, Hughes, Hill, Boyd, Sayles, Hall, Fields

S - Smith, Harris, Sendejo, Meadors

PK - Bailey

P - Colquitt

LS - Cutting

... The offensive line would be set. You could look to upgrade the right guard spot and swing tackle spot but it would not be urgent.

You might want to get a QB for depth or sign a veteran for cheap.

You would need to get a wide receiver that is a threat to be #3 on the depth chart.

You would need to look at upgrading the 3 technique at defensive tackle.

You would need to look at bringing in another defensive end.

You would need a couple of linebackers and one could come undrafted.

And, you would need to get a corner and safety as usual.


https://fanspeak.com/ontheclock/sharedraft.php?d=puljup

TRADES

CLEVELAND BROWNS

SENT: ROUND: 1 PICK: 25 & FUTURE ROUND 1 PICK

RECEIVED: ROUND: 1 PICK: 10

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

SENT: ROUND: 2 PICK: 26

RECEIVED: ROUND: 2 PICK: 32 & ROUND: 6 PICK: 35

LA RAMS

SENT: ROUND: 4 PICK: 26 & ROUND: 7 PICK: 25

RECEIVED: ROUND: 4 PICK: 20

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

SENT: ROUND: 6 PICK: 26 & ROUND: 7 PICK: 5

RECEIVED: ROUND: 6 PICK: 16 & ROUND: 7 PICK: 16

10: R1P10 QB JUSTIN HERBERT OREGON

HT: 6061 | WT: 227 | HAND: 10 | ARM: 33 3/8 | WING: 78 7/8

Pac-12 Championship Game - Oregon v Utah Alika Jenner/Getty Images

64: R2P32 DL RAEKWON DAVIS ALABAMA

HT: 6061 | WT: 312

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff Semifinal-Orange Bowl-Alabama vs Oklahoma Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

89: R3P25 EDGE JAMES LYNCH BAYLOR

HT: 6032 | WT: 295

NCAA Football: Abilene Christian at Baylor Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

123: R4P20 S KYLE DUGGER LENOIR-RHYNE

HT: 6006 | WT: 217 | HAND: 10 1/8 | ARM 32 3/4 | WING: 78

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

138: R4P35 WR DEVIN DUVERNAY TEXAS

HT: 5104 | WT: 202 | HAND: 9 | ARM: 30 3/8 | WING: 75 1/4

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 14 Texas v Rice Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

195: R6P16 CB TROY PRIDE JR. NOTRE DAME

HT: 5113 | WT: 193 | HAND: 8 3/8 | ARM: 31 3/8 | WING: 73 3/4

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Stanford Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

214: R6P35 OT ALEX TAYLOR SOUTH CAROLINA STATE

HT: 6084 | WT: 308 | HAND: 11 | ARM: 36 1/8 | WING: 88

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

230: R7P16 LB CAM BROWN PENN STATE

HT: 6053 | WT: 232 | HAND: 9 3/8 | ARM: 33 7/8 | WING: 79

Penn State v Maryland Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

253: R7P39 C GAGE CERVENKA CLEMSON

HT: 6030 | WT: 325

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

254: R7P40 LB LOGAN WILSON WYOMING

HT: 6021 | WT: 241 | HAND: 9 1/4 | ARM: 32 | WING: 77 1/8

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 12 Wyoming at San Diego State Photo by Alan Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Here is the roster after the draft ...

QB - Cousins, Browning, Herbert

RB - Cook, Mattison, Boone

FB - Ham, Brooks-James

WR - Thielen, Diggs, Johnson, Beebe, Hollins, Mitchell, Davis, Duvernay

TE - Rudolph, Smith, Morgan, Conklin, Dillon

LT - O’Neill, Collins, Taylor

LG - Thuney, Elflein, Cervenka

OC - Bradbury, Keenoy

RG - Kline, Samia

RT - Conklin, Udoh

DE - Hunter, Odenigbo, Mata’afa, Yarbrough, Lynch

DT - Pierce, Stephen, Johnson, Holmes, Watts, Davis

LB - Barr, Kendricks, Wilson, Gedeon, Smith, Brown, Wilson

CB - Waynes, Hughes, Hill, Boyd, Sayles, Hall, Fields, Pride Jr.

S - Smith, Harris, Sendejo, Meadors, Dugger

PK - Bailey

P - Colquitt

LS - Cutting

I anticipate the most complaints will be about giving up a future 1st to get Herbert. I think the Chiefs and Texans proved that it is not a bad idea. Is Herbert worth the trade up and will he even be there? I can easily see him going before #10. But only Burrow and Tua went before #10 and so I thought it would be great to see the Vikings do something bold.

In the 2nd round, Davis as a ton of value and having Patterson coach him up may flip a switch. I really like Lynch and I suspect teams will too. I really do not think many of these players will be available where I have them but you never know. Well, most of us don’t really know. There will be some who do know.


Here is an alternate draft ...

https://fanspeak.com/ontheclock/sharedraft.php?d=msazow

TRADES

CLEVELAND BROWNS

SENT: ROUND: 1 PICK: 25 & FUTURE ROUND 1 PICK

RECEIVED: ROUND: 1 PICK: 10

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

SENT: ROUND: 2 PICK: 26

RECEIVED: ROUND: 2 PICK: 32 & ROUND: 4 PICK: 40

DENVER BRONCOS

SENT: ROUND: 3 PICK: 25

RECEIVED: ROUND: 3 PICK: 32 & ROUND: 5 PICK: 32

BALTIMORE RAVENS

SENT: ROUND: 4 PICK: 35 & ROUND: 7 PICK: 39

RECEIVED: ROUND: 4 PICK: 28

NEW YORK GIANTS

SENT: ROUND: 4 PICK: 40

RECEIVED: ROUND: 5 PICK: 4 & ROUND: 7 PICK: 24

CAROLINA PANTHERS

SENT: ROUND: 6 PICK: 26 & ROUND: 7 PICK: 24

RECEIVED: ROUND: 6 PICK: 5

10: R1P10 QB TUA TAGOVAILOA ALABAMA

64: R2P32 WR BRANDON AIYUK ARIZONA STATE

96: R3P32 EDGE JASON STROWBRIDGE NORTH CAROLINA

129: R4P26 OT CALVIN THROCKMORTON OREGON

131: R4P28 S KYLE DUGGER LENOIR-RHYNE

150: R5P4 CB TROY PRIDE JR. NOTRE DAME

178: R5P32 RB AJ DILLON BOSTON COLLEGE

184: R6P5 DL DAVON HAMILTON OHIO STATE

219: R7P5 LB CAM BROWN PENN STATE

239: R7P25 WR JOE REED VIRGINIA

254: R7P40 LB LOGAN WILSON WYOMING

I like both of these drafts. I could see the Vikings staying put and hoping to get Jordan Love, Jacob Eason, or Jalen Hurts at #26 too. That way they save their 2021 1st round pick which is a strong consideration.

The point here is that the Vikings have ways to create plenty of cap space. It all depends on which direction they choose to go. They could even extend Cousins in this plan if they wanted.

I think there will be plenty of competition for Thuney and Conklin in free agency so it may cost more. It could even get ridiculous like what happened with Trent Brown last year. Also, moving O’Neill over comes with some trepidation.

But it is time for the Vikings to be BOLD!