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Vikings’ offseason plan v2.0

What does Mark have cooked up this time?

Purdue v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

In my first offseason plan, I guesstimated the cap would come in at $195M based on a report I read online.

https://www.si.com/nfl/packers/news/nfl-salary-cap-might-not-crash-after-all

Since then, there have been more reports that the cap will be well below that number and will likely come in at $181M. That is a large difference. Reporting is out there from November 2020 that projects the NFL teams would lose about $2.7 billion due to having no fans at the games. That comes out to $84.375M per team.

Before Covid, overthecap (OTC) had projected the 2021 thru 2025 caps as ...

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

2021 : 215,000,000

2022 : 227,500,000

2023 : 241,000,000

2024 : 256,000,000

2025 : 256,000,000

... another report guessed the cap could be as high as $240M.

https://fansided.com/2020/02/28/nfl-salary-cap-rumors-240-million/

If the owners and the NFLPA could agree to a reasonable distribution of the recoup of the lost revenue, then the timeline could be as short as three seasons.

Year : Projected : Actual : Recoup

2021 : 215,000,000 : 189,000,000 : 26,000,000

2022 : 227,500,000 : 200,000,000 : 27,500,000

2023 : 241,000,000 : 210,000,000 : 31,000,000

Total Recoup : 84,500,000

I am no rocket science or capologist but it seems like this should not be that difficult. Of course, it depends on the new TV deals but those could be very lucrative.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/10/nfl-wants-to-finalize-new-tv-deals-before-setting-2021-salary-cap-in-march.html

If the league does receive a 10 year 100 billion deal (10 billion per year which is up from the 7.5 billion) then the cap will go up fast.

When doing these offseason plans and pretending to be a GM and cap BOZO, you have to consider the next year or two as well.

For this exercise, I am going to go with a $181M cap number as it is now. The Vikings are carrying over $4M (or so) which puts them at $185M in cap space. They have 193.6M in cap commitments to the top 51 players.

I’ll start off with the Vikings being in the red, with negative $8M in cap space.

Before they can do any free agent signings they need to get in the black.

The obvious moves were outlined in my first plan here. They were releases of Reiff, Rudolph, Stephen, Bailey, and Barr.

The question is are those good moves? Would the Vikings actually do any of those moves or would they try and keep it together? I think the moves make a ton of sense.


Riley Reiff

Do they want to ask Reiff to take another pay cut? Can they leave his cap hit of $13.95M alone? Definitely not. Can they ask him to take another $5M haircut? Will he accept? If they extend him by adding two more years to his deal, what would be acceptable? Would a 3 yr 27M deal be good or not enough?

Considering that the offensive tackle class in this draft is very strong (especially at the top) and that O’Neill needs to get an extension this summer (most likely), it makes the most sense from a team-building and cap perspective to part ways with Reiff. It would be nice to be able to get a 5th for him but I’ll leave that out.

Parting ways with Reiff saves $11.75M.

Updated Cap Space is $3.75M


Kyle Rudolph

Parting ways with Rudolph saves $5.1M

Updated Cap Space is $8.85M


Shamar Stephen

Parting ways with Stephen saves $3.75M

Updated Cap Space is $12.6M


Dan Bailey

Parting ways with Bailey saves $1.7M

Updated Cap Space is $14.3M


Britton Colquitt

Parting ways with Colquitt saves $1.78M

Updated Cap Space is $16.1M (approx)


Anthony Barr

Barr is the biggest question and his cap hits over the next three years are $15.1M, $15.6M, & $18.1M. I do not have any bad feelings about the man getting paid but more often than not, players do not see those huge salaried years after the guaranteed money is paid. The problem with moving money around in Barr’s deal is that they will have no choice but to ask him to take a large pay cut in 2022, do another adjustment, or let him go. I guess they could extend him again but that would be foolish.

When he signed his new deal in 2019, he received $15.9 million guaranteed with a total potential guarantee of $33 million. In 2021, $7.5m)is guaranteed for injury only but vests into a full guarantee on the 3rd day of the league year. A quick decision must be made.

The Vikings have to ask themselves if they have a suitable replacement? I think the answer was on display all last season. Eric Wilson may not be as good as Barr used to be, but he is good enough. IMHO.

But in this version, I’ll adjust Barr’s contract and let Wilson walk.

Add two void years to Barr’s deal and spread $6M of his salary over five years (2021 to 2025).

His salary will remain the same in 2021 but the cap hit is reduced by $4.8M. Each year thereafter has a $1.2M cap increase with 2024 & 2025 being void years.

His cap hits from 2021 thru 2025 would be $10.7M, $16.8M, $19.3M, $1.2M, & $1.2M.

The cap savings if cut in 2022 would be $6.8M.

The cap savings if cut in 2022 would be $13.1M.

Restructuring/adjusting Barr saves $4.8M

Updated Cap Space is $20.9M


Harrison Smith

Extend Smith with a 4 yr $33M deal with a $9M signing bonus and $16.5M guaranteed

His salaries would be $2.25M, $5.25M, $8.25M, & $8.25M.

His cap hits would be $5.5M, $7.5M, $10.5M, & $10.5M.

Malcolm Jenkins signed a 4 yr $32M deal at age 32 last year.

Extending Smith saves $5.75M

Updated Cap Space is $26.65M


Danielle Hunter

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 should have incentives that could give him a lot more.

This leaves his cap hit as is in 2021 & 2022

Extending Hunter costs $0

Updated Cap Space is $26.65M


Brian O’Neill

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.

Extending O’Neill costs $2M

Updated Cap Space is $24.65M


Ifeadi Odenigbo

He is a restricted free agent and should get a 2nd round RFA tender offer of $3,422,000

Updated Cap Space : $21.23M


One thing to note here. Since five players were released and one player added (Odenigbo), then we need to add four minimum contracts at $660,000 each for a total of $2.64M.

Updated Cap Space : $18.59M


The Vikings should have 12 picks once they get the 4th and 6th round compensatory picks.

The bottom 12 of the top 15 on the salary cap right now totals $9,475,195.

If they draft and sign 12 then the max salaries for the rookies and the bottom 12 come out to $10,933,642.

This leaves $1,458,447 actually needed to sign the rookies.

Updated Cap Space : $17.13M


The rest of the free agents can test the market and if they do not find what they want may circle back. Notable ones are Rashod Hill, Brett Jones, Todd Davis, and Mike Boone.

These moves create $186,144,191 in cap commitments for 2022 without counting the rookies signed this year. If the Vikings keep all 12 rookies the 2022 commitment is about $12.6M.

If the 2022 cap comes in at $200M then the Vikings would have about $1M in cap space.

This includes the HIDEOUS $45M cap hit for Cousins.


So, getting back to this year, what can the Vikings do with $17M in free agency?

I think the team waits for players that will get cut like Akiem Hicks, Vernon Butler, Quinton Jefferson, Jurell Casey, Kawaan Short, Malcolm Brown, Jarran Reed, Kareem Jackson, Kenny Vaccarro, Ricardo Allen, Bobby Hart, Gabe Jackson, Trai Turner, Nick Easton, & Kevin Zeitler just to name some.

I would target a defensive tackle, safety, cornerback, and possibly guard.

I would offer one-year prove-it type deals of $2M to $3M although the defensive tackle would probably cost $5M in cap space and maybe would be a longer deal.

One note about signing players that get cut, it won't count against the compensatory picks. Maybe Eric Wilson will get the Vikings a comp pick?

Heading into the draft, there is a hole at left tackle unless Udoh is ready to start and O’Neill is going to slide over. There are major needs at one guard spot, safety, and defensive tackle.


TRADES

Pittsburgh Steelers

Sent: Round 1 Pick 14

Received: Round 1 Pick 24, Round 2 Pick 23

Philadelphia Eagles

Sent: Round 2 Pick 23, Round 3 Pick 26

Received: Round 2 Pick 5

New York Jets

Sent: Round 3 Pick 14

Received: Round 3 Pick 22, Round 5 Pick 2

Cleveland Browns

Sent: Round 3 Pick 22

Received: Round 3 Pick 25, Round 5 Pick 25

LA Rams

Sent: Round 4 Pick 14, Round 5 Pick 27

Received: Round 3 Pick 37

Dallas Cowboys

Sent: Round 4 Pick 20, Round 5 Pick 25

Received: Round 4 Pick 10, Round 6 Pick 39

24: R1 P24 EDGE Jayson Oweh - Penn State 6’5” 252

Indiana v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

37: R2 P5 OT Samuel Cosmi - Texas 6’6” 309

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 06 Red River Showdown - Texas v Oklahoma Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

89: R3 P25 S Andre Cisco - Syracuse 6’0” 209

Syracuse v Maryland Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

101: R3 P37 DL Alim McNeill - NC State 6’2” 320

East Carolina v North Carolina State Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

115: R4 P10 C Ben Cleveland - Georgia 6’6” 354

Georgia v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

134: R4 P29 S/LB Hamsah Nasirildeen - Florida State 6’3” 213

Boise State v Florida State Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

147: R5 P2 WR Jaelon Darden - North Texas 5’9” 174

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 11 UTEP at North Texas Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

158: R5 P13 CB/S Trill Williams - Syracuse 6’2” 198

Wake Forest v Syracuse Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

201: R6 P15 LB K.J. Britt - Auburn 6’0” 239

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: AUG 31 AdvoCare Classic - Oregon v Auburn Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

222: R6 P36 C Quinn Meinerz - Wisconsin-Whitewater 6’3” 320

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 30 Senior Bowl Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

225: R6 P39 WR Simi Fehoko - Stanford 6’4” 227

Washington v Stanford Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

240: R7 P14 TE Tony Poljan - Virginia 6’7” 265

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 14 Louisville at Virginia Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I like getting Oweh who is a freak. Oweh has run a jaw-dropping 4.33 40, according to Penn State coaches. He also has vertical jumped 36 inches and broad jumped 10-7 to go with a pro agility time of 4.46, a 380-pound bench press, and a 365-pound power clean. His body fat is 4.9 percent. Oweh is like Hunter a little in terms of traits.

Cosmi is the tackle that I think fits the Vikings zone-blocking system the best. According to PFF, he’s one of the most battle-tested tackles in the country, with 495 career true pass sets under his belt, and has an 89.4 pass-block grade. He should be able to step right in and start. He will have some struggles for sure but should develop into a solid left tackle IMHO.

Cisco has a ton of production with 12 interceptions and 14 passes defended in 2018 & 2019. He’s run a 4.33 laser-timed 40, clocked a 4.1 in the shuttle, vertical jumped 36 inches, and benched 225 17 times.

McNeill is a big defensive tackle who had 9 sacks in 2018 & 2019 which is a plus.

Cleveland is just a monster and hopefully will grab hold of one of the guard spots and never let go.

Nasirildeen will be a toy that Zimmer can use all over the defense.

The rest may make the final 53 and eventually be contributors. The two receivers have the best chance. Meinerz is probably too low in this mock.

An alternate mock ...

PIT - Received: Pick 14, Pick 90

MIN - Received: Pick 24, Pick 55, 2022 PIT 2nd

24. Samuel Cosmi OT Texas

55. Mac Jones QB Alabama

78. Tommy Togiai DT Ohio State

119. Payton Turner EDGE Houston

125. Ar’Darius Washington S TCU

134. Marvin Wilson DT Florida State

143. Frank Darby WR Arizona State

158. Robert Rochell CB Central Arkansas

172. Trill Williams CB/S Syracuse

201. K.J. Britt LB Auburn

222. Simi Fehoko WR Stanford

240. Tony Poljan TE Virginia

The Vikings might be able to extend Reiff and lower his cap hit significantly. But his cap hit in 2022 will become an issue especially with O’Neill needing his new deal.

Well, there you have it.