It is time for the first offseason plan. I have been holding out waiting on the final cap number for 2021 but can make do with the “educated guesses” out there. Looking at overthecap, the Vikings have these numbers for the top 51 which is all that matters until the first game ...
Top 51 : $192,824,951
Dead : $507,314
Total Top 51 : $193,332,265
Here is an article that makes sound speculation from actual agents that believe the cap will NOT be as low as $175,000,000 which is what overthecap is using now.
One agent said the expectation is the cap for 2020 will at least remain steady. Another agent said he expected it to touch $200 million. Another was planning for $195 million.
I have always believed this was going to be the case as it makes too much sense. For this exercise, I am going to go with a cap of $195,000,000.
Total Top 51 : $193,332,265
Projected Cap : $195,000,000
Carryover : $4,526,324
Total Cap : $199,526,324
Remaining : $6,194,059
The Vikings UFA (unrestricted free agent) list is Anthony Harris, Eric Wilson, Rashod Hill, Ameer Abdullah,
Sean Mannion, Dakota Dozier, Todd Davis, Brett Jones, George Iloka, Hardy Nickerson, Jaleel Johnson
The RFA (restricted free agent) list is Ifeadi Odenigbo, Mike Boone, Chad Beebe
The ERFA (exclusive restricted free agent) list is Chris Jones
The 2021 projected salaries for RFA players are ...
1st round : $4,873,000
2nd round : $3,422,000
Original round : $2,240,000
I think who the Vikings keep depends on who gets released or traded.
They probably will give Odenigbo a 2nd round tender offer. I don’t see signing Boone or Beebe to the original round tender because they probably could get them for about 1 mil each after they test the market.
I think Harris will get paid more than what the Vikings should spend. Johnson probably gets a decent offer elsewhere and maybe even more of a chance to play. I’m not too worried about the remaining free agents. Maybe they bring back Hill on a slightly increased deal from 2020 ($1.5 to $2 mil)? The rest are likely minimum level deals.
Reiff is released here which saves $11.75M.
Updated Cap Space : $11.75M + $6.2M = 17.95M
Rudolph is released here which saves $5.1M
Updated Cap Space : $5.1M + $17.95M = $23.05M
Stephen is released here which saves $3.75M
Updated Cap Space : $3.75M + $23.05M = $26.8M
Bailey is released here which saves $1.7M
Updated Cap Space : $1.7M + $26.8M = $28.5M
Barr is released here which saves $7.7M
Updated Cap Space : $7.7M + $28.5M = $36.2M
Note: It is hard to see them leaving Barr’s cap hit as is and I anticipate they may ask him to redo his 2021 salary similar to what they asked Reiff. If he would take a $6M pay cut with the chance to make back 2 or 3 mil via incentives then at least they create some cap room. He did get paid last year when he was hurt which is not his fault but still better for him than the team. Whether or not he accepts, they more than likely will NOT let the remainder of his contract stand. In 2022, he will take a pay cut or get released. Better to go ahead and let him go now although I do prefer a trade. I could come up with an idea (think Jets) but left that out of this version.
Harrison Smith gets a 4 year $33M new deal with an $8M signing bonus and $16.5M guaranteed
His salaries would be $3.25M, $5.25M, $8.25M, & $8.25M
His cap hits would be $5.25M, $7.25M, $10.25M, & $10.25M
This deal is similar to Malcolm Jenkins who signed a 4 year $32M deal at age 32
This lowers his cap hit in 2021 by $5M
Updated Cap Space : $5M + $36.2M = $41.2M
Danielle Hunter gets a 5 year $100M new deal with a $25M signing bonus and $60.5M guaranteed
His salaries would be $7.75M, $7.75M, $20M, $20M, & $20M
His cap hits would be $17.75M, $17.75M, $27M, $25M, & $25M
This puts him as the fifth highest-paid defensive end by average per year behind Bosa, Garrett, Lawrence, and Clark. He will have incentives that give him a lot more.
This leaves his cap hit as is in 2021 & 2022
Updated Cap Space : $41.2M
Brian O’Neill gets a 5 year $55M extension with a $15M signing bonus and $27M guaranteed.
The extension starts in 2022 and ends in 2026.
His salaries would be $2.383M, $3M, $9M, $9M, $9M, & $10M
His cap hits would be $4.7M, $6M, $12M, $12M, $12M, & $10M
This deal puts him as the fifth highest-paid right tackle by average per year behind Lane Johnson, Trenton Brown, Jack Conklin, and Ju’Wuan James.
This raises his cap hit in 2021 by $2M
Updated Cap Space : $41.2 - $2M = $39.2M
Eric Wilson gets a 4 year $30M extension with a $6M signing bonus and $15M guaranteed.
His salaries would be $2.5M, $6.5M, $7.5M, & $7.5M
His cap hits would be $4M, $8M, $9M, & $9M
This deal is similar to the contract Nick Kwiatkoski signed last year which was a 3 year $21M deal
Updated Cap Space : $39.2 - $4M = $35.2M
Ifeadi Odenigbo gets a 2nd round RFA tender offer of $3,422,000
Updated Cap Space : $35.2 - $3.4M = $31.8M
If the cap does not come in at $195M and comes in at $180M then I would have to subtract $15M from the $31.8M remaining.
The Vikings could restructure Adam Thielen by converting $5M of his salary and spreading the cap hit over the next four years. If they did this they would get $3.75M in extra cap space. But we’ll hold off on that for now.
So, assuming the cap does come on at $195M, the Vikings would have $31.8M in cap space to use on outside free agents.
The first free agent is Matt Feiler who has played right tackle and left guard for the Steelers.
Matt Feiler gets a 4 year 30M deal with an $8M signing bonus and $15M guaranteed.
His salaries would be $1.5M, $5.5M, $7M, & $8M
His cap hits would be $3.5M, $7.5M, $9M, & $10M
This deal is similar to Bobby Massie and Billy Turner
Updated Cap Space : $31.8 - $3.5M = $28.3M
The next free agent is Roy Robertson-Harris who plays all over the defensive line but would be a tackle here.
Roy Robertson-Harris gets a 3 year 24M deal with a $7.5M signing bonus and $9M guaranteed.
His salaries would be $1.5M, $7M, & $8M
His cap hits would be $4M, $9.5M, & $10.5M
This deal is similar to David Onyemata and Michael Brockers
Updated Cap Space : $28.3 - $4M = $24.3M
The next free agent is Keanu Neal who played safety for the Falcons
Keanu Neal gets a 3 year 18M deal with a $4.5M signing bonus and $7M guaranteed.
His salaries would be $2.5M, $6M, & $6M
His cap hits would be $4M, $7.5M, & $8M
This deal is similar to Vonn Bell, Jaquiski Tartt, & Ricardo Allen
Updated Cap Space : $24.3 - $4M = $20.3M
It would be nice to sign a free agent corner but the best bet is to wait out the market and get someone for cheap (hopefully).
This plan would leave about $18M in cap space in 2022 if the overall cap is $227.5M as overthecap shows.
If the 2022 cap comes in at $200M then this plan puts the Vikings over by $7M if they carry over all the remaining space.
One thing the Vikings could do to adjust Kirk Cousins’ 2022 cap number is to add a couple of void years and convert some of his $35M salary by spreading it out over 3 years. Let’s say they convert $21M then they would spread $7M per year. His 2022 cap number would drop to $31M and they would gain $14M in cap space. They would have to take $7M cap hits in 2023 & 2024 if he is off the team.
What does the roster look like heading into the draft ...
QB - Kirk Cousins, Sean Mannion, Jake Browning, Nate Stanley
RB - Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison
FB - C.J. Ham, Jake Bargas
WR - Adam Thielen, K.J. Osborn, Dan Chisena
WR - Justin Jefferson, Bisi Johnson
TE - Irv Smith, Tyler Conklin, Brandon Dillon, Hale Hentges
LT - Ezra Cleveland, Blake Brandel
LG - Matt Feiler, Kyle Hinton
OC - Garrett Bradbury
RG - Dru Samia, Zack Bailey
RT - Brian O’Neill, Oli Udoh
DE - Danielle Hunter, Kenny Willekes
DE - Ifeadi Odenigbo, D.J. Wonnum, Jordan Brailford
DT - Michael Pierce, Armon Watts, James Lynch
DT - Roy Robertson-Harris, Jalyn Holmes, Hercules Mata’afa
LB - Eric Kendricks, Troy Dye, Blake Lynch
LB - Eric Wilson, Ryan Connelly, Cameron Smith
CB - Mike Hughes, Jeff Gladney, Harrison Hand, Cordrea Tankersly
CB - Cameron Dantzler, Kris Boyd, Tae Hayes, Dylan Mabin
FS - Keanu Neal, Josh Mettelus
SS - Harrison Smith, Myles Dorn, Luther Kirk
P - Britton Colquitt
LS - Andrew DePaola
... not totally set for sure.
RG, WR3, OT, RB look like needs on offense.
DE, DT, LB, CB, & S look like needs on defense.
Pretty much everything eh? Some are for depth though.
Let’s draft shall we ...
Trade Partner: Cincinnati Bengals
Round 1 Pick 14
Round 3 Pick 38
Future Round 1 Pick
Future Round 4 Pick
Round 1 Pick 5
5: R1 P5 QB Justin Fields - Ohio State 6’3” 228
78: R3 P14 WR Kadarius Toney - Florida 5’11’’ 189
90: R3 P26 C Landon Dickerson - Alabama 6’6’’ 326
116: R4 P14 TE Hunter Long - Boston College 6’5.1” 254
122: R4 P20 S Divine Deablo - Virginia Tech 6’3.3” 226
131: R4 P29 OT Spencer K. Brown - Northern Iowa 6’8.4” 314
154: R5 P13 DL Marlon Tuipulotu - USC 6’1.6” 308
Love those uniforms!
168: R5 P27 CB Ifeatu Melifonwu - Syracuse 6’2.5” 212
194: R6 P15 EDGE Adetokunbo Ogundeji - Notre Dame 6’4.3” 256
221: R6 P42 WR Trevon Grimes - Florida 6’3.7” 217
236: R7 P14 DL Dayo Odeyingbo - Vanderbilt 6’5” 276
This plan and mock follows along with what I did with the latest drafttek mock ...
I know many will ask why trade up for Fields and waste draft picks? A fair question indeed.
I believe the team will NOT be as bad the next year or two due to players returning and younger players hopefully getting better. I do not anticipate drafting as high as #14.
Also, the Quarterback class in the 2022 Draft is weak. Very weak. Now is the time to strike or else they probably wait until 2023 or hope to find some late-round gem.
If they can get Fields, Wilson, or Lance (all 3 probably will require a trade-up) then the player can sit behind Cousins and learn. Rodger sat for 3 years. Mahomes sat for a year.
I found out that the Vikings could add void years to Cousins deal next year to lower his 2022 $45M cap hit. They may also try to trade him. They probably would restructure his deal by giving him a $10M roster bonus before trading him. That way, the new team only has to pay $25M to Cousins in 2022. The Vikings would eat $20M in dead money but would save $25M in cap space. Lots of options.
I like Dickerson a lot and he is able to play center and guard on the offensive line. The Vikings need someone who can play center if Bradbury gets dinged up or does not pan out.
I like adding more receivers because the depth at receiver is not very good. It is just OK at best.
You still need to draft a safety even if you sign a veteran to replace Harris. There just is no depth besides Mettelus and Dorn who may or may not work out.
Spencer Brown is a large tackle and hopefully could fill the void if Rashod Hill is not brought back.
The defensive line additions are self-explanatory and this year, there really is not a lot of value in taking one early.
** I do realize that many of these players will go earlier. **
An alternate mock ...
Trade Partner: Cincinnati Bengals
Round 1 Pick 14
Round 4 Pick 14
Future Round 1 Pick
Future Round 3 Pick
Round 1 Pick 5
Round 7 Pick 5
5: R1 P5 QB Justin Fields - Ohio State
78: R3 P14 S Hamsah Nasirildeen - Florida State
90: R3 P26 WR D’Wayne Eskridge - Western Michigan
102: R3 P38 EDGE Payton Turner - Houston
122: R4 P20 S Richie Grant - UCF
131: R4 P29 G Royce Newman - Mississippi
154: R5 P13 C Quinn Meinerz - Wisconsin-Whitewater
168: R5 P27 DL Alim McNeill - NC State
194: R6 P15 DL Adetokunbo Ogundeji - Notre Dame
221: R6 P42 OT Dillon Radunz - North Dakota State
227: R7 P5 DL Ta’Quon Graham - Texas
236: R7 P14 WR Marquez Stevenson - Houston
Well, there you go. Another wanna-be GM plan where most of it will not occur. I have another where they keep almost everybody besides Rudolph (who basically is asking to be let go) and Bailey.