This plan will not be very popular!
Time for another plan before the combine and possibly the new CBA. I am doing this plan with the possibility of no new CBA being ready by the time free agency starts. If this occurs then the 30% rule comes into effect. Here is the 30% rule explained ...
The ‘30 percent’ rule
Article 13, Section 7 of the CBA mandates that “no player contract extending into a season beyond the Final League Year may provide for an annual increase in salary ... of more than 30 percent of the salary provided for in the Final League Year, per year, either in the season after the Final League Year or in any subsequent season covered by the Player Contract.”
So if a player signs a five-year contract this off-season, and his 2020 salary is $10 million, the rules state his scheduled 2021, 2022 and 2023 salaries can’t be higher than $13 million, $16 million and $19 million, respectively.
Since this is version 5, I am trying to change it up enough every time to see different possibilities and hopefully have discussions. I have done a couple where the Vikings drafted a QB early and one where Cousins was extending while trying to keep many of the older higher paid players. This one will be another outside the box type plan. Slightly.
So lets get to it.
With Griffen voiding his deal, the Vikings now are no longer in the red. Here are the numbers and I added in increases to th3 salary cap for each season (6.3%).
Year - Salary Cap - Cap Room
2020 - $201,005,976 - $1,379,736
2021 - $213,811,952 - $37,733,919
2022 - $227,433,789 - $79,676,710
2023 - $241,923,466 - $121,875,976
2024 - $257,336,272 - $185,005,976
Here are the moves ...
Release Rhodes, Reiff, and Joseph.
Restructure Diggs 6 mil, Barr 4 mil, Hunter mil, & Thielen 3 mil
Extend Kearse 4 yr 12 mil - 26 years old
Extend Alexander 3 yr 22.5 mil - 26.3 years old
Extend Bailey 2 yr 5 mil
Extend Colquitt 2 yr 4 mil
Extend Wilson 1 yr 2.144 mil (RFA tender) - 25.5 years old
Extend Ham 1 yr 2.144 mil (RFA tender) - 26.7 years old
Sign DT Danny Shelton 4 yr 21 mil - 26.6 years old
Sign OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai 4 yr 21 mil - 26.8 years old
Sign Marcus Mariota 2 yr 15 mil - 26.4 years old
Sign Deon Bush 2 yr 5 mil - 26.6 years old
Sign Stephon Weatherly 2 yr 6 mil - 25.11 years old
Year - Salary Cap - Cap Room
2020 - $201,005,976 - $7,214,236
2021 - $213,811,952 - $47,129,895
2022 - $227,433,789 - $91,158,547
2023 - $241,923,466 - $125,235,653
2024 - $257,336,272 - $199,818,782
The roster looks like this heading to the draft ...
The QBs would be Cousins, Mariota, and Browning
The RBs would be Cook, Mattison, Boone, Brooks-James
The TEs would be Rudolph, Smith, Conklin, Morgan, Dillon
The WRs would be Diggs, Thielen, Johnson, Beebe, Hollins, Mitchell, Davis
The OTs would be O’Neill, Vaitai, and Udoh
The OGs would be Elflein, Collins, Kline, and Samia
The OC would be Bradbury
The DTs would be Shelton, Stephen, Johnson, Holmes, Watts, and Cothran
The DEs would be Hunter, Odenigbo, Weatherly, Mata’afa, and Yarbrough.
The LBs would be Barr, Kendricks, Wilson, Smith, Gedeon, and Cliett
The CBs would be Alexander, Hughes, Hill, Boyd, Meadors, Hall, Fields
The safeties would be Smith, Kearse, and Bush
The LS is Cutting
The K is Bailey
The P is Colquitt
SENT: FUTURE ROUND 2 PICK
RECEIVED: ROUND: 3 PICK: 37 & ROUND: 4 PICK: 25
25: R1P25 EDGE YETUR GROSS-MATOS PENN STATE 6’4” 262 JR
58: R2P26 DL RAEKWON DAVIS ALABAMA 6’7” 306 SR
89: R3P25 WR LYNN BOWDEN KENTUCKY 6’1’’ 199 JR
101: R3P37 QB JALEN HURTS OKLAHOMA 6’2” 210 SR
128: R4P25 G NETANE MUTI FRESNO STATE 6’3” 310 RJR
129: R4P26 CB TROY PRIDE JR. NOTRE DAME 5’11” 194 SR
138: R4P35 OT SAAHDIQ CHARLES LSU 6’5” 305 JR
205: R6P26 LB CAMERON BROWN PENN STATE 6’5” 230 SR
219: R7P5 EDGE ALEX HIGHSMITH CHARLOTTE 6’3” 244 RSR
239: R7P25 CB STANTLEY THOMAS-OLIVER II FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL 6’2” 184 SR
253: R7P39 WR JOE REED VIRGINIA 6’1’’ 215 SR
254: R7P40 S JARED MAYDEN ALABAMA 6’0” 205 SR
Having a potential starting line of Vaitai, Elflein, Bradbury, Kline, and O’Neill could be very scary to many.
Muti is a very nice prospect as is Charles. Add them to Udoh, Samia, and Collins and they could eventually blossom. That is the hope.
I suppose if you go with a first round tackle then everything would be just fine right?
With Griffen likely going elsewhere for more money, I think grabbing a defensive end is very important especially if one is there at #25.
Yetur Gross-Matos is tall and has good size already. He needs to get stronger just like any lineman entering the NFL. You can never have enough passs rushers.
Raekwon Davis is apparently falling on draft boards because his last two seasons were not as good as his 2017 season when he h ad 8.5 sacks. But at 6’7” 312 and very powerful already, he is too intriguing to pass especialy with Stephen and Holmes not exactly lighting it up.
Lynn Bowden proved how unselfish he is last year by agreeing to play QB for Kentucky when he could have said he wanted to keep working at receiver in order to get drafted as high as possible. He had a good year running the ball, has shown he is a good receiver, and has return abilities.
Jalen Hurts is a player that many are not very high on because they believe he will not get better as a passer. I think his mobility makes him a perfect candidate for this team and having him and Mariota gives the offense two QBs that can move around when the line gets beat. And best of all, the NFL.com profile compares him to Tim Tebow!
Netane Muti is a powerful guard who has suffered some injuries the last couple of years but is pretty good when he plays. he has played left tackle so that brings added versatility.
Troy Pride Jr is very fast. He was a two-time state champion in the 400m dash and state champion in the 200m dash and 100m dash. He reportedly ran a 4.32 40. He could end up being quite a find at the end of the 4th.
Charles stated 28 games at left tackle for LSU. Kind of odd that he is not getting more love but he could be a nice find in the 4th.
Brown is a big tall linebacker that is very athletic. He should fit in good on the defense and bring some value to special teams.
Highsmith is a really good pass rusher that needs to add some weight but brings a burst off the edge.
Thomas-Oliver III is an intriguing corner. He is tall at 6’2” and played receiver his first year similar to Richard Sherman. Not saying he will be as good as Sherman but corners that played receiver bring an extra dimension to coverage.
Reed is another receiver that brings serious kick return abilities. While kick return is not teribly important anymore it still is nice to have someone dynamic.
Mayden started for Alabama this past season and is a decent safey prospect to groom and utilize on special teams.
An alternate draft ...
SENT: ROUND: 1 PICK: 25
RECEIVED: ROUND: 1 PICK: 28 & ROUND: 4 PICK: 33
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
SENT: FUTURE ROUND 2 PICK
RECEIVED: ROUND: 3 PICK: 23 & ROUND: 4 PICK: 19
28: R1P28 OT AUSTIN JACKSON USC
58: R2P26 S ANTOINE WINFIELD, JR. MINNESOTA
87: R3P23 WR MICHAEL PITTMAN JR. USC
89: R3P25 QB JALEN HURTS OKLAHOMA
122: R4P19 CB TROY PRIDE JR. NOTRE DAME
129: R4P26 EDGE ALTON ROBINSON SYRACUSE
136: R4P33 G NETANE MUTI FRESNO STATE
138: R4P35 WR DEVIN DUVERNAY TEXAS
205: R6P26 LB CAMERON BROWN PENN STATE
219: R7P5 RB LEVANTE BELLAMY WESTERN MICHIGAN
239: R7P25 DL DAVON HAMILTON OHIO STATE
253: R7P39 S LUTHER KIRK ILLINOIS STATE
254: R7P40 FB BRONSON RECHSTEINER KENNESAW STATE
Bronson is the son of former WWE legend Rick Steiner. He measures in at six feet, 230 pounds, and projects as an RB/FB/H-back. His training numbers have reportedly been off the charts, with 40 times in the mid 4.3s, a vertical jump of 39 inches and a bench press of 33 reps.
This is likely the better mock.
In 2021 the available cap space is 47.1 mil and the free agents of note will be Dalvin Cook, Ifeadi Odenigbo, Jaleel Johnson, David Morgan, Aviante Collins, Holton Hill, Mike Boone, & Hercules Mata’afa. Kirk Cousins, Pat Elflein, and any others will be free.
I kind of like having Mariota and Hurts as the QBs alhough the Mariota deal would really only be one year. With the line put together in this plan, a mobile QB would be a requirement.
A little more about Mariota ...
Inconsistency: Not solely inconsistency with the player, but the organization, as well. The start of Mariota’s NFL career mirrors that of former 49ers QB Alex Smith: both dealt with different offensive coordinators in their first five seasons of the league. That’s tough for any young QB coming into the league, but especially for Mariota: he dealt with different three head coaches (Ken Wisenhunt, Mike Mularkey, Mike Vrabel) and four different offensive coordinators in his first five seasons at the helm. That much turnover around the QB can wreak havoc on a player’s progression.
That’s not to say that Mariota is absolved of his sins. While a promising 2016 season painted a picture of progression, he reverted to his turnover-prone ways in 2017, an issue he hadn’t had in the college ranks.
I think if you look at the receivers and line during Mariota’s time at Tennessee it really has been below average at best.
This could possibly my worst or best plan yet!