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Minnesota Vikings News and Links, 7 March 2023

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Missouri v Tennessee Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images

The Vikings have started the process of becoming cap compliant by next Wednesday, March 15.

Here is a list of important dates ...

March 7:

Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.

March 13-15:

Negotiation Period. During the period beginning at 12:00 noon, New York time, on March 13 and ending at 3:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 15, clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2022 Player Contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 15.

March 15

End/Start of League Year. Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must exercise options for 2023 on all players who have option clauses in their 2022 contracts.
Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit Qualifying Offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation.
Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2022 contracts who have fewer than three Accrued Seasons of free agency credit.
Top 51 Rule is in effect. All clubs must be under the 2023 Salary Cap prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time. All 2022 NFL player contracts will expire at 4:00 p.m., New York time.
Trading period for 2023. Trading begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2022 contracts.
Commencing at 4:00 p.m., New York time, Clubs may designate up to two Player Contracts that, if terminated on or prior to June 1, 2023, and if not renegotiated after January 9, 2023, shall be treated as if terminated on June 2, subject to the further requirements of CBA Article 13, Section 6(b)(ii)(1).

Yes, Kwesi needs to get busy making the tough decisions that should be fairly simple IMHO. They have 6 days before they can start talking to free agents they want to bring in.

NFL Draft News

Pro days begin today with Indiana first up.

I think that if the Vikings want to get one of the top 4 QBs then they’ll have to likely get ahead of the Raiders. Could Kwesi swing another deal with the Lions? Unlikely. The Lions could be looking at Jalen Carter or possibly a corner. The Lions might even take one of the top 4 QBs like Richardson since they have two first round picks.

Here is mock that is kind of scary ...

Lions getting Jalen Carter AND Calijah Kancey? GTFOH. We will be crying about drafting interior offensive linemen for quite a few more years if they pull this off and the players pan out.

Vikings getting Luka Van Ness is not bad but as long as we have Kirk Cousins, we shall be fine right?


Yore Mock

A little quick and dirty plan.

Vikings cap space after the Kendricks release: -$15,780,607

I do not think a “restructure” for Smith and Thielen should be done without voiding the remaining years of their deals and both players taking almost the same amount of pay cut that equals the cap savings if released. If they try and cut their pay in 2024 and beyond, it has to be really low and without any guarantees which means they’ll likely be gone next year. I would not do that if I am either player as I would want to see if I could get a better deal elsewhere. I do not see either being trade-able with their current contracts either.

There are some rumors that the Vikings are considering keeping CJ Ham. Incredibly stupid if they do and all the “analytics” talk was just that. Talk.

I want to believe Cook has some trade value and with the Dolphins having no running backs under contract, maybe they would be a candidate. But joe Mixon could be released and the Titans are apparently quietly shopping Derrick Henry (google it). That would eleiminate any trade option for Cook who reportedly is not taking a pay cut.

Even with the Kendricks release you would think they would cut Hicks too. His play in coverage was awful.

I know Reed has some fans here but he only played the last two games and not good enough to keep. Plus he is 31 years old.

Cut Thielen: Saves $6,417,647
Cut H. Smith: Saves $7,379,999
Cut Ham: Saves $3,050,000
Cut Reed: Saves $2,500,000
Cut Cook: Saves $5,898,727
Cut Hicks: Saves $5,000,000
Updated cap space: $14,465,766

I am not sure about Smith and Hunter. I suppose it depends on how much Flores wants both to return and on the teams belief that it can replace either one or both. DO they want to pay Hunter 20M plus per year for at least 3 more years. I think it is doable but they also need to pay JJ and may decide to pay Kork even more (yuck). I think they can do it and may be tight but if they are only keeping Kork for one more year then they should have more cap flexibility going forward.

It is obvious that hunter should return more in a trade but that is contingent on teams not being in love with the Edge rushers in this draft AND wanting to pay Hunter. Also, the team would have to incur an additional 5.74M in dead money if they traded Hunter. The Vikings cannot use a post June 1 trade designation according to overthecap ...

The final thing is that there is no such thing as a post June 1 trade designation. The Packers can not trade Aaron Rodgers in March and declare it a post June 1 trade to break up the salary cap charges across the 2023 and 2024 league years. If Green Bay needed to split the cost (Rodgers costs more on the cap to trade than keep) they would have to find a team willing to delay processing any trade for Rodgers until June 2nd. If they trade him before that date there is no other option but to take all of the dead money in 2023.

I’m sticking with a trade of Z. Smith and an extension for Hunter.

Trade Z. Smith to Browns for 3.35: Saves $12,156,861
Extend Hockenson 4 yr 58M: Saves $5,000,000
Extend Tomlinson 3 yr 45M: Costs zero
Extend Hunter 3 yr 66M: Costs $5,000,000
Extend Jefferson 4 yr 130M: Costs $7,000,000
Updated cap space: $19,622,627
Extend Shelley 2 yr 6M: Costs $1,329,167
Extend Bradbury 3 yr 27M: Costs $2,210,000
Extend Schlottmann 2 yr 2.7M: Costs $460,000
Extend DePaola 2 yr 2.875M: Costs $545,000
Sign LB Drue Tranquill (26.5 years old) 3 yr 25.5M: Costs $2,210,000
Sign EDGE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (27.8 years old) 3 yr 18M: Costs $2,210,000
Sign CB Sean Murphy-Bunting (25.1 years old) 2 yr 8M: Costs $1,210,000
Updated cap space: $9,448,460

If the Vikings do not acquire any more draft picks or do not trade up higher which comes with a higher rookie salary, they will need to have $2,482,303 to sign the draft picks.

Let’s assume they do something and bump that to $5,000,000. That leaves $4.4M for other moves.

Also, they still have not touched O’Neill’s or Kork’s contracts which they can restructure to get a few extra mil if needed.

Trade Partner: Cleveland Browns
Sent: EDGE Za’Darius Smith
Received: Round 3 Pick 37
Trade Partner: Kansas City Chiefs
Sent: Round 1 Pick 23
Received: Round 1 Pick 31; Round 3 Pick 32; Round 4 Pick 32
Trade Partner: Atlanta Falcons
Sent: Round 3 Pick 24; Round 4 Pick 17
Received: Round 3 Pick 12; Round 5 Pick 25
Trade Partner: Houston Texans
Sent: Round 3 Pick 35
Received: Round 4 Pick 2; Round 6 Pick 24
Trade Partner: Las Vegas Raiders
Sent: Round 4 Pick 2
Received: Round 4 Pick 7; Round 6 Pick 27
Trade Partner: Buffalo Bills
Sent: Round 5 Pick 24; Round 6 Pick 27
Received: Round 5 Pick 3
Trade Partner: Green Bay Packers
Sent: Round 5 Pick 25
Received: Round 5 Pick 35; Round 7 Pick 15

31: R1 P31 QB Hendon Hooker - Tennessee 6’3.5” 208

75: R3 P12 EDGE Tomi Adebawore - Northwestern 6’2.5” 308

95: R3 P32 S Sydney Brown - Illinois 5’10” 213

109: R4 P7 CB Jaylon Jones - Texas A&M 6’2” 200

134: R4 P32 LB DeMarvion Overshown - Texas 6’2.3” 220

139: R5 P3 RB Chase Brown - Illinois 5’9.4” 215

171: R5 P35 DL Jalen Redmond - Oklahoma 6’2.3” 293

177: R5 P41 WR Jonathan Mingo - Ole Miss 6’1.3” 226

201: R6 P24 EDGE YaYa Diaby - Louisville 6’3.2” 264

234: R7 P15 C Ricky Stromberg - Arkansas 6’3.1” 315

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