As we enter the official 5th day of the new league year, the Vikings have only made a handful of small moves. It is interesting that the reporting yesterday was that the Vikings needed to make or had made their decision about Hunter. Ben Goessling tweeted this yesterday ...
A couple things to know about Danielle Hunter’s $18M roster bonus:— Ben Goessling (@BenGoessling) March 19, 2022
—While it becomes guaranteed this weekend, he still has to report to training camp on time to earn it.
—First $6M paid w/in 10 days of camp report date.
—Vikings still have right to convert it to SB at any time
Hunter’s deal reads: “Player and Club agree that during the duration of this Contract, Club shall have the right, but not the obligation, to convert any portion of Player’s 2022 roster bonus into signing bonus.”— Ben Goessling (@BenGoessling) March 19, 2022
Ben did not mention yesterday as THE DAY, just this weekend. spotrac says this about his contract ...
2022 Roster Bonus: $18M (guarantees 3/20/2022, $6M paid 10 days into training camp)
I am not sure what time of day things take affect but it could be that the team still has to 4:00 PM today, before his roster bonus is guaranteed.
I will say that I think the best course of action would be to extend Hunter if they can agree on an amount or to only restructure a small amount that would allow them to sign one or two more free agents. Letting him play this year for 20M is more than fair but if he puts up double digit sacks and plays the majority of the snaps, well, the price to keep him goes way up. I seriously doubt he would play next year for 5.5M if he plays the majority of the snaps no matter how many sacks he gets.
So, where does the team stand now cap wise? According to overthecap, they have 2.2M in cap space and spotrac has them with 2.4M while both do not include the Thielen redo. How much are they saving with Thielen and what does his new contract look like? We can guess based on the reporting.
#Vikings WR Adam Thielen's restructured contract includes $18 million guaranteed and he gets a raise to $14.4M this year, per source. A void year was tacked on for salary cap purposes as Minnesota continues to clear space.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 18, 2022
It is also reported that he received a 9M signing bonus and that they added one void year. So let’s go with that.
If you divide 9M by 4 you get 2.25M per year in a signing bonus. If he is set to take home 14.4M this year then his salary would have to be 4.8M. He has a 500K roster bonus and 100K workout bonus baked into this salary. The question is did he lower his salary in 2023 and 2024 and we all do not know. If they guaranteed 18M and are paying him 14.4M this year, then he has 3.6M coming next year no matter what? Did he lower his 2023 salary from 13.05M down to 3.6M? I seriously doubt that to be honest. I am guessing that is just a roster bonus payable early in March.
I am going to leave his 2023 and 2024 salaries alone.
YEAR : BASE : SIGNING : ROSTER : WORKOUT : RESTRUCTURE : CAP HIT : DEAD CAP : SAVINGS
2022 : 4.8M : 4.3M : .5M : .1M : 2.25M : 11.950M : 17.850M : -5.900M
2023 : 13.05M : 4.3M : .5M : .1M : 2.25M : 20.200M : 11.300M : 8.900M
2024 : 15.4M : 2.5M : .5M : .1M : 2.25M : 20.750M : 4.750M : 16MM
2025 : 0 : 0 : 0 : 0 : 2.25M
TOTAL : 33.25M : 11.1M : 1.5M : .3M : 9M
It will be interesting to see if he helped out the team by taking less money in 2023 & 2024.
I am going to go with about 5M in cap savings for 2022 with this restructure which gives the team 7.2M to work with right now. What can they do with that amount do add at least one corner?
Keep in mind that the Vikings will need about 4.3M to sign the rookies based on their current draft picks. This is information from overthecap. They could still restructure Cook, Kendricks, and O’Neill to get that amount though so we do not need to worry about it in our free agent wishes.
Let’s assume they are keeping Hunter and could possibly trade him next offseason. They should do a moderate restructure to get more cap space. Right now if he is moved they will have to absorb 11.48M in dead money due to previous signing bonus proration and restructures.
Here are the possibilities ...
Convert 6M - Save 4.5M in 2022 cap space & 2023 dead money is 9.86M
Convert 7M - Save 5.25M in 2022 cap space & 2023 dead money is 10.61M
Convert 8M - Save 6M in 2022 cap space & 2023 dead money is 11.36M
Convert 9M - Save 6.75M in 2022 cap space & 2023 dead money is 12.11M
Convert 10M - Save 7.5M in 2022 cap space & 2023 dead money is 12.86M
Convert 11M - Save 8.25M in 2022 cap space & 2023 dead money is 13.61M
Convert 12M - Save 9M in 2022 cap space & 2023 dead money is 14.36M
... I do not think they want to go over the current 11.48M by too much next year but a couple of million is not too bad. Let’s go with converting 11M of the 18M signing bonus and saving 8.25M.
That would give the team 15.45M to work with right now.
Which free agents are available and would seem to fit the current strategy? I think the current strategy is a mix of proven players (Hicks) and players with hopeful upside and either showed promise last year (Phillips and Bates) or have familiarity with the coaching staff (Mundt and Schlottmann).
Who should and who will they target especially at cornerback (I think we need two) and interior line (center or guard)?
I will just list some that I like ...
CB Stephon Gilmore 31
CB Bryce Callahan 30 (slot)
CB Patrick Peterson 31
CB K’Waun Williams (slot)
CB Kyle Fuller 30
CB Mike Hughes 25
CB Kevin King 26
CB Chandon Sullivan 25
S Jayron Kearse 28
S Terrell Edmunds 25
S Ronnie Harrison 24
S Deshon Elliot 24
C JC Tretter 31
C Nick Martin 28
G/T Billy Turner 30
G Will Hernandez 26
WR Will Fuller 27
WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling 27
Edge Arden Key 25
Edge Rasheem Green 24
Who would you like to see them sign?
Since they have reinvested in Cousins, it would make the most sense to me that they do much better at providing him better interior line pass blocking. He had a pretty good year last year so there is not a lot of room for improvement stats wise, but scoring more points (top 5 or 10 in scoring) should be the #1 goal of the offense.
I like Sullivan, Edmunds, Hernandez, Fuller, and Key. Can they get it done with 15M?