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Minnesota Vikings News and Links, 6 July 2023

Every habit makes our hand more witty, and out wit more handy. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Minnesota Vikings v Chicago Bears Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

All of us Vikings fans are waiting on the start of training camp and wondering if extensions will be done by that time and/or if Danielle Hunter will be traded. I suspect he will show up to training camp but do a “hold-in” so that he does not get fined.
A “hold-in” is when a player arrives at training camp on time but chooses not to participate in practices because of a contract dispute. It differs slightly from a holdout — when a player avoids the team facility and team activities entirely in the hope of forcing a better contract or a trade.
But as the NFL contracts have gotten fatter, so, too, have the fines. Now, players can be docked up to $50,000 per day missed. And that fine forgiveness? The NFL’s current collective bargaining agreement nixed that, meaning players have to eat the fine entirely (unless they are under a rookie contract).
That makes the decision quite simple for the league’s biggest stars: clock in without actually clocking in. Show up to training camp every day, stay out of activities and collect a check. Rinse and repeat.

Accrued seasons: Used to determine a player’s free agency status (unrestricted, restricted, exclusive rights). In order to accrue a season, a player must have been on (or should have been on*) full-play status for at least six regular-season games in a given season. A player under contract must report to his team’s training camp on his mandatory reporting date in order to earn an accrued season. If player holds out his services for a “material period of time,” he is also at risk of not accruing a season.

Yep, I think Hunter should show up and “hold-in”. He deserves to paid more based on his play and the team needs to get it done or get picks for him. They do not need to make it ugly.

Since yore last open thread ...

The Brian Flores hype train continues picking up steam

The definitive case for a “Weird” Al Yankovic Super Bowl halftime show

Predicting The Outcome Of Every Division - AFC East

State Of The Vikings - Tight Ends

Other Vikings stuff ...

Vikings RB Alexander Mattison ready to ‘seize’ bigger opportunity with Dalvin Cook gone

“For me, it’s a great opportunity to step into the role, the limelight and the position I’ve always dreamt of being in,” Mattison recently told the Daily Delivery Podcast for The Star Tribune. “All the work I’ve put into this point, all the work following in [Cook’s] footsteps, side by side, challenging each other every day, prepared me for a moment like this where I can have the opportunity to seize what’s in front of me.”

Vikings Ranked Near Top of NFL in Future Salary Cap Health

Top 51 veteran valuation: The total value of a team’s top 51 players, excluding 2023 draft picks. The Vikings rank 9th in this category.
Active draft capital: The total value of a team’s rookie-contract players, including 2023 draft picks. The Vikings rank 11th.
2023-25 cap space: Pretty straightforward. These are projections for a team’s effective cap space this year and in the next two offseasons. The Vikings rank 9th.
Total prorated money: Dead cap space. Sunk costs a team has to work around. The Vikings rank 9th.
2024 free agent valuation: The value each team is set to lose in free agency next year. The Vikings rank 27th.
Here’s Spielberger on the Vikings:
Minnesota moved on from a number of longtime veterans, including wide receiver Adam Thielen and linebacker Eric Kendricks, but didn’t tumble too far down the list here, as they’ve managed to turn their situation into a very balanced approach.
The Vikings still show up well here in large part because their top talent play premium positions. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson, edge defender Danielle Hunter and starting tackles Christian Darrisaw and Brian O’Neill are all among the best at their respective position groups. After trading Za’Darius Smith to the Cleveland Browns, will Minnesota find a way to extend Hunter, or will they further gut a defense that already struggled mightily in 2022?
The challenge comes when the Vikings finally try to replace quarterback Kirk Cousins, which they seem prepared to do with no new contract signed thus far as we move toward training camp.
Spielberger ranked the Vikings 14th last year and 15th in 2021, so they’ve taken a clear step forward this year. That’s a credit to GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, who recognized that last year’s 13-win season was unsustainable and moved on from numerous veterans in order to create a healthier path into the future.

Interesting analysis but it will change once they extend Jefferson and maybe Hockenson and Hunter.

How long does it take to judge the Vikings regime?

It’s fair to question the true strength of the 2022 team when eight fourth-quarter comebacks were required to win 13 games and they were outscored by their opponents but Jimmy Johnson had a point in saying, “you are what your record says you are.”
We can’t just cruise over the Cousins restructure though. Was it a miscalculation? Did they think they were going to extend him? Are they still going to extend him? It doesn’t seem advantageous to take a salary cap roundhouse kick to the face next season, particularly if the motivation was waiting to see if they could get something in a Cook trade rather than moving him to get under the cap. If Cousins exits after this year, the restructure doesn’t destroy the Vikings’ long-term cap, it just makes things a little trickier to add to the roster. If they walk out of 2023 looking like a team on the rise and still can’t spend as much next year because of the handling of his restructure, there will be regrets. And if they extend him before the start of the season, which is still possible despite what Cousins said about talking contract next March, then the entire theme of this offseason will be blown into bits.
If Jefferson and Hockenson aren’t signed by Week 1 and the Vikings either made Hunter the highest paid defensive player in the league or traded him for a third-round pick things will feel way different than if they have extensions in place for WR1 and TE1 and either got a reasonable contract for Hunter or dealt him for a first. Much hinges on what’s next in terms of answering the question: Do they know what they’re doing?
Judging a front office is like predicting the weather. What we think we know can change quickly. The path that the Vikings have taken so far hasn’t been perfect but it has promise. Grading it would be like saying it’s been a good weather summer after the first week of July. That’s about the best we can do right now.

Really good review/post.

Yore Mock

Trade Partner: Buffalo Bills
Sent: Round 1 Pick 23
Received: Round 1 Pick 29, Round 3 Pick 34
Trade Partner: Seattle Seahawks
Sent: Round 3 Pick 34, Round 4 Pick 25
Received: Round 3 Pick 20, Round 7 Pick 20
29: R1 P29 LB Jeremiah Trotter Jr. - Clemson 6’0” 230

55: R2 P23 S Calen Bullock - USC 6’3” 190

84: R3 P20 QB J.J. McCarthy - Michigan 6’3” 196

123: R4 P23 G LaDarius Henderson - Michigan 6’5” 310

142: R5 P6 C Christian Haynes - Connecticut 6’3” 3`0

168: R5 P32 DL Alfred Collins - Texas 6’5” 313

198: R6 P23 DL Justin Eboigbe - Alabama 6’5” 292

239: R7 P20 WR Sam Pinckney - Coastal Carolina 6’4” 215

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