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Vikings Offseason Plan 5.0

NCAA Football: Oregon at Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In this plan, I am attempting to consider the QB and the likelihood that the team will utilize the 3-4 defense more often than the 4-3 defense. This link claims that the Broncos under Ed Donatell actually lined up in the 4-2-5 alignment more often than the 3-4-4 defense.

https://idpguru.com/2021/05/2021-defensive-coordinators-and-schemes.html

Either way, the Vikings have to prepare for the 3-4 switch. They have candidates for the 3 defensive down linemen in Michael Pierce (6-0 340), Dalvin Tomlinson (6-3 325), Armon Watts (6-5 307), James Lynch (6-4 295), Jordan Scott (6-1 326), and Jaylen Twyman (6-2 285). These linemen MIGHT be good enough for the front 3.

For the OLB/EDGE rusher position, the Vikings have Danielle Hunter (6-5 263), DJ Wonnum (6-5 258), Patrick Jones (6-4 264), Janarius Robinson (6-5 258), and Kenny Willekes (6-3 264). The only player that I could find that may have played in a 3-4 look was DJ Wonnum at South Carolina. The rest are pretty much 4-3 defesnsive ends. The Vikings drafted them with the idea that they would be 4-3 ends.

At ILB, the Broncos had Josey Jewell (6-1 236) and Alexander Johnson (6-2 255). They had a few OLB/DE at around 6-3 or 6-4 and 250 with Bradley Chubb (6-4 275) and Stephen Weatherly (6-5 265) a bit bigger. The Vikings linebackers are Eric Kendricks (6-0 232), Troy Dye (6-2 225), Chazz Surratt (6-2 233), Blake Lynch (6-3 233), and Nick Connelly (6-2 234).

I do not see Hunter as a 3-4 OLB/DE who has to stand up occasionally. He has proven success as a hand in the dirt 4-3 DE. They should not try to fix what is not broken. The teams looks to need OLB/DE that fit in a 3-4 defense.

The team also could possibly use bigger inside linebackers.

I think the team has to trade Hunter because of the defensive switch and his contract situation.

At QB, if the reports are true that Cousins wants to get close to 40M per year then I would have to pass on that opportunity. It may prove foolish but the past two seasons have not produced the desired results despite the QB putting up good numbers. Considering the defense is going to be changing and needs a lot of new faces (I have not even mentioned CB yet), I just do not see that unit getting significantly better and good enough to help get the team to the playoffs. But that is just my opinion. I respect differing opinions.

Let us begin this plan shall we?

The team is starting off at -16M in cap space.

Season Total Liabilities Team Salary Cap Cap Space
2022 $224,958,598 $208,917,819 ($16,040,779)
2023 $143,694,074 $225,000,000 $81,305,926
2024 $89,412,731 $256,000,000 $166,587,269

I would ask the QB to let the team add one void year to his deal to lower his cap hit in 2022. I would tell him that we cannot meet his price and he will be a free agent in 2023. If he refuses to allow the void year addition then I might have to trade him for whatever I could get. But most likely, I would just leave his contract as is and absorb the 45M cap hit. In this plan, he agrees.

Add one void year to Cousins deal and convert 15M of his salary

This lowers his cap hit to 37.5M and frees up 7.5M in cap space. In 2023, the team would have 7.5M in dead money if he moves on.

Updated cap
Season Total Liabilities Team Salary Cap Cap Space
2022 $217,458,598 $208,917,819 ($8,540,779)
2023 $151,194,074 $225,000,000 $73,805,926
2024 $89,412,731 $256,000,000 $166,587,269

Trade Danielle Hunter to the Jets for pick 1.10.

Now some would say why would the Jets give up a top 10 pick? Good question. Here is one answer that gave me this idea.

https://www.si.com/nfl/jets/news/new-york-jets-should-trade-first-round-pick-for-minnesota-vikings-danielle-hunter

As an evaluator, I will say this, if you have a chance to go and get someone of Hunter’s caliber, you do not walk, you run.

When Hunter has been healthy, he has been a bull coming off the edge who only sees red.

Hunter is an elite talent. Anytime there is a chance to get a proven superstar, opposed to getting an unproven draft choice, a team must strongly consider it. This is especially true when there is not another player in this draft equal to Hunter, especially not at No. 10 overall.

Players like Hunter do not grow on trees. We are talking about a player who reached 50 sacks faster than anyone in NFL history. We are also talking about a player who is now only 27 years old, and someone who theoretically has a lot of football left in him.

Yes, this former Jets scout makes a ton of sense especially when they have the 4th overall pick as well. They also have picks 35 & 38 which are very early second rounders. They can easily give up the #10 pick for a PROVEN pass rusher.

Plus the Jets have 48M in cap space and do not have too many must keep free agents of their own.

Updated cap
Season Total Liabilities Team Salary Cap Cap Space
2022 $202,818,598 $208,917,819 $6,099,221
2023 $142,574,074 $225,000,000 $82,425,926
2024 $87,172,731 $256,000,000 $168,827,269

Now, with these two moves the team has created 6.1M in cap space and needs about 4.3M to sign the rookies according to overthecap. But this number has to be increased by 4.3M because that is what the #10 pick costs. So, the new number to sign the rookies is 8.6M which means we need another 2.5M.

https://overthecap.com/draft/

Now, I can either cut someone like Pierce who played well when he was able to last year or I can do restructures. Considering the 3-4 defense, I think we need to keep Pierce.


Restructure 10.8M of Thielen’s deal which saves 7.2M in cap space.

Season Total Liabilities Team Salary Cap Cap Space
2022 $195,618,598 $208,917,819 $13,299,221
2023 $146,174,074 $225,000,000 $78,825,926
2024 $90,772,731 $256,000,000 $165,227,269

Restructure 9.6M of Smith’s deal which saves 7.2M in cap space.

Season Total Liabilities Team Salary Cap Cap Space
2022 $188,418,598 $208,917,819 $20,499,221
2023 $148,574,074 $225,000,000 $76,425,926
2024 $93,172,731 $256,000,000 $162,827,269

Restructure 8M of Kendricks deal which save 4M in cap space.

Season Total Liabilities Team Salary Cap Cap Space
2022 $184,418,598 $208,917,819 $24,499,221
2023 $152,574,074 $225,000,000 $72,425,926
2024 $93,172,731 $256,000,000 $162,827,269

Sign CB Kyle Fuller to a 2 yr 13M deal.

10M signing bonus

Salaries of 1.12M, 6.88M

Cap Hits of 3.62M, 9.38M

Season Total Liabilities Team Salary Cap Cap Space
2022 $187,333,598 $208,917,819 $21,584,221
2023 $161,954,074 $225,000,000 $63,045,926
2024 $93,172,731 $256,000,000 $162,827,269

Sign CB K’Waun Williams to a 2 yr 7M deal.

3M signing bonus

Salaries of 1.12M, 2.88M

Cap Hits of 2.52M, 4.38M

Season Total Liabilities Team Salary Cap Cap Space
2022 $189,243,598 $208,917,819 $19,674,221
2023 $166,334,074 $225,000,000 $58,665,926
2024 $93,172,731 $256,000,000 $162,827,269

Sign LB Josey Jewell to a 2 yr 12M deal

5M signing bonus

Salaries of 1.035M, 5.965M

Cap Hits of 3.535M, 8.465M

Season Total Liabilities Team Salary Cap Cap Space
2022 $192,029,863 $208,917,819 $16,887,956
2023 $174,799,074 $225,000,000 $50,200,926
2024 $93,172,731 $256,000,000 $162,827,269

Sign S Justin Reid to a 2 yr 7M deal

3M signing bonus

Salaries of 1.035M, 2.965M

Cap Hits of 2.535M, 4.465M

Season Total Liabilities Team Salary Cap Cap Space
2022 $193,739,863 $208,917,819 $15,177,956
2023 $179,264,074 $225,000,000 $45,735,926
2024 $93,172,731 $256,000,000 $162,827,269

After these signings the team has 15.1M remaining of which 8.6M has to go for the rookies drafted.

This will leave about 6.5M as a buffer should they need to make any other moves.

There were no free agent guards or centers that were worth paying big bucks. Plus, Ryan Jensen, Ben Jones, and Bradley Bozeman probably stay put. Brian Allen might hit free agency but I suspect he will find a way to stay with the Champs. After that, the pickings are slim. I think the draft may provide some help and I’m hoping that Davis grabs the RG spot and Bradbury finally steps up in the pass blocking department. He is already a good run blocker. Perhaps the new offensive line coach will be able to get him just up to slightly below average as opposed to well below average.

Also, If Cousins does not want to allow the team to add a void year then they leave it as is and restructure one or two more deals or not sign Fuller or Jewell. Either way, in this scenario, the new head coach will get the chance to work with Cousins as he stated in his press conference. Cousins gets a chance to get this team into the playoffs and earn another sizable extension from some team maybe even the Vikings.

Heading to the draft, the team has picks 1.10, 1.12, 2.14, 3.13, 5.13, 6.5, 6.13, 6.29, 7.12

I am using the fanspeak Ultimate GM simulator found here ... http://fanspeak.com/ultimategm/mtc/

TRADES

Trade Partner: New Orleans Saints

Sent: Round 1 Pick 10

Received: Round 1 Pick 18, Round 2 Pick 17

Trade Partner: Philadelphia Eagles

Sent: Round 3 Pick 13, Round 6 Pick 13

Received: Round 3 Pick 19, Round 4 Pick 19

Trade Partner: Indianapolis Colts

Sent: Round 6 Pick 5

Received: Round 6 Pick 15, Round 7 Pick 19

12: R1 P12 WR Drake London - USC

Height: 6 feet, 5 inches
Weight: 210 pounds
Utah Utes defeat the USC Trojans 42-26 during a NCAA football game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

18: R1 P18 G Kenyon Green - Texas A&M

Height: 6 feet, 4 inches
Weight: 330 pounds
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 27 Texas Bowl- Oklahoma State v Texas A&M Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

46: R2 P14 CB Trent McDuffie - Washington

Height:5 feet, 11 inches
Weight: 195 pounds
Oregon v Washington Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

49: R2 P17 EDGE Arnold Ebiketie - Penn State

Height: 6 feet, 2 3/8 inches
Weight: 250 pounds
Hand size: 10 1/2 inches
Arm length: 34 inches
Wingspan: 82 1/8 inches
Villanova v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

83: R3 P19 DL Travis Jones - UConn

Height: 6 feet, 4 3/8 inches
Weight: 326 pounds
Hand size: 10 1/4 inches
Arm length: 34 inches
Wingspan: 82 3/4 inches
NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

123: R4 P19 LB Darrian Beavers - Cincinnati

Height: 6 feet, 4 inches
Weight: 252 pounds
Hand size: 9 5/8 inches
Arm length: 32 5/8 inches
Wingspan: 81 inches
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 18 Cincinnati at Indiana Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

156: R5 P13 TE Greg Dulcich - UCLA

Height: 6 feet, 3 3/4 inches
Weight: 248 pounds
Hand size: 9 7/8 inches
Arm length: 33 7/8 inches
Wingspan: 81 1/4 inches
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 27 Cal at UCLA Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

193: R6 P15 C Dohnovan West - Arizona State

Height: 6 feet, 3 inches
Weight: 315 pounds
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 08 Stanford at Arizona State Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

207: R6 P29 WR Slade Bolden - Alabama

Height: 5 feet, 11 inches
Weight: 195 pounds
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 10 CFP National Championship Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

230: R7 P11 CB Joshua Williams - Fayetteville State

Height: 6 feet, 2 1/2 inches
Weight: 193 pounds
Hand size: 9 1/4 inches
Arm length: 32 1/4 inches
Wingspan: 78 1/8 inches
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 02 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

238: R7 P19 S Tycen Anderson - Toledo

Height: 6 feet, 1 3/8 inches
Weight: 204 pounds
Hand size: 9 5/8 inches
Arm length: 33 inches
Wingspan: 79 3/4 inches
NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

An alternate mock ...

TRADES

Trade Partner: New Orleans Saints

Sent: Round 1 Pick 10

Received: Round 1 Pick 18, Round 2 Pick 17

Trade Partner: Miami Dolphins

Sent: Round 2 Pick 14

Received: Round 2 Pick 18, Round 4 Pick 20

12: R1 P12 EDGE David Ojabo - Michigan

18: R1 P18 CB Trent McDuffie - Washington

49: R2 P17 TE Trey McBride - Colorado State

50: R2 P18 DL Travis Jones - Connecticut

77: R3 P13 WR Christian Watson - North Dakota State

124: R4 P20 LB Darrian Beavers - Cincinnati

156: R5 P13 RB Dameon Pierce - Florida

183: R6 P5 C Nick Ford - Utah

191: R6 P13 G Lecitus Smith - Virginia Tech

207: R6 P29 CB Joshua Williams - Fayetteville State

230: R7 P11 S Tycen Anderson - Toledo

The four previous plans are below.

https://www.dailynorseman.com/2022/1/19/22892184/vikings-2022-offseason-plan-v1-0

https://www.dailynorseman.com/2022/2/1/22911524/vikings-2022-offseason-plan-2-0

https://www.dailynorseman.com/2022/2/7/22922586/vikings-2022-offseason-plan-3-0

https://www.dailynorseman.com/2022/2/13/22932531/vikings-offseason-plan-4-0

Well, another horrible plan in the books!