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Vikings 2024 Offseason Plan v2.0

Keep dreaming!

Tennessee Titans v Miami Dolphins Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Obviously, the season was a disappointment but that was mainly due to injury. I would like to think that the team would have fared well in these playoffs as some of the teams have not played as well as originally expected. The Cowboys, Eagles, and even the 49ers do not look like juggernauts. They look very beatable. What could have been with a healthy Cousins eh?

We now find ourselves in the situation that Kwesi desired. Flexibility. There is danger with flexibility and the immediate danger is Hunter and Cousins could leave via free agency if the Vikings do not make them an offer attractive enough to keep them from seeing what is out there. The chances of the team winning also could be a factor. Without Cousins or another competent QB, free agents may be not as interested as we hope. That wont dissuade me in this first plan that I am posting separately rather than inside open threads.

Overthecap currently has the Vikings with $26,328,244 in cap space based off a $242M base salary cap. This is for 52 players as overthecap added in the players signed to futures contracts. It does affect the available cap when you sign a free agent because only the top 51 count in the offseason. SO, the player at the bottom in position 51 comes off and the free agent is added. If you signed someone and they had a 5M cap hit, the cap hit should only be 4.2M because the last player is at 795K.

One other note, Cam Bynum has a cap hit of 1,234,453 and a salary of 1,055,000 in 2024. His salary will go up to $2,828,000 because of the NFL Proven Performance Escalator (PPE). He is a Level One player.

https://overthecap.com/proven-performance-escalator
Article 7, Section 4 of the 2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement governs the PPE, establishing three levels of qualification:
The Level One PPE is earned if a player participates in a certain percentage of a team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averages that percentage of offensive or defensive snaps over his entire first three years. For 2nd round picks, the average is 60%, and (as was the same in the 2011 CBA) for 3rd-7th round picks it is 35%.
The Level Two PPE is earned if a player participates in at least 55% of a team’s offensive or defensive snaps in all of his first three seasons.
The Level Three PPE is earned if a player is selected to a Pro Bowl on the original ballot (not as an alternate) in any of his first three seasons.
Players eligible for the PPE will see their fourth year base salary escalate, based upon the restricted free agent (RFA) tenders for that season, as follows:
The Level One PPE will raise the base salary to the amount of the Right of First Refusal (ROFR) RFA tender.
The Level Two PPE will raise the base salary to the amount of the ROFR RFA tender, plus $250,000.
The Level Three PPE will raise the base salary to the amount of the 2nd round RFA tender.

...

https://overthecap.com/franchise-transition-and-rfa-tenders

Basically, Cam Bynum will cost an extra 1.6M in 2024. I am not sure about an extension just yet because he could be asking for the Grant Delpit extension which was 3 yr 36M. Kwesi may decide to wait and take his chances next offseason. Flexibility!


OK, without further ado ...

I like to use the overthecap calculator.

https://overthecap.com/calculator/minnesota-vikings
Starting Cap Space:
2024 $26,328,244 (52 players)
2025 $139,489,530 (29 players)

.

Cut Harrison Smith - saves $11,384,1116

Extend Hunter - 3 yr 75M w/ 1 void yr

28M signing bonus
Salaries of 4M, 16M, 27M
Cap hits of 18.45M, 30.45M, 34M, 7M (void yr)
2024 Cost: $1,975,351

.

Extend Jefferson - 4 yr 132M w/ 1 void yr

35M signing bonus
Salaries of 12.743M, 23M, 29M, 33M
Cap hits of 19.743M, 30M, 36M, 40M, 7M (void yr)
2024 Cost: $0

.

Extend Risner - 3 yr 21M

6M signing bonus
Salaries of 1.125M, 5.875M, 8M
Cap hits of 3.125M, 7.875M, 10M
2024 Cost: $2,330,000

.

Sign Christian Wilkins - 4yr 100M w/ 1 void yr

29M signing bonus
Salaries of 1.125M, 16.875M, 25M, 28M
Cap hits of 6.925M, 22.675M, 30.8M, 33.8M, 5.8M (void yr)
2024 Cost: $6,130,000
I think you have to offer the most to get Wilkins

.

Sign Kendall Fuller - 3 yr 45M w/ 1 void yr

16M signing bonus
Salaries of 1.21M, 12.79M, 15M
Cap hits of 5.21M, 16.79M, 19M, 4M (void yr)
2024 Cost: $4,415,000

.

Sign Lloyd Cushenberry - 4yr 52M w/ 1 void yr

12M signing bonus
Salaries of 1.125M, 10.875M, 13.5M, 14.5M
Cap hits of 3.525M, 13.275M, 15.9M, 16.9M, 2.4M (void yr)
2024 Cost: $2,730,000

.

Sign Isaiah Simmons - 2yr 10M

4M signing bonus
Salaries of 1.125M, 4.875M
Cap hits of 3.125M, 6.875M
2024 Cost: $2,330,000

.

Sign Javon Kinlaw - 2yr 12M

5M signing bonus
Salaries of 1.125M, 5.875M
Cap hits of 3.625M, 8.375M
2024 Cost: $2,710,000

.

Trade Bradbury to the Cardinals for pick 5.3

Saves: $2,513,882

.

Trade a 2025 6th round pick to the Patriots for Mac Jones

Costs: 1,870,412

.

Remaining Cap Space:
2024 $14,164,164 (56 players)
2025 $31,251,080 (33 players)

The team could pick up the RFA tender for Brandel but the salary is 2.828M and the cap hit cost would be $1,269,530. It is not a lot and he has proven to be decent when needed but they might want to wait and see what he gets offered. Maybe they give him a 2 yr 4.75M deal like Coleman Shelton received last year?

Khyiris Tonga is also a RFA and I am not sure they do the same with him. Maybe they wait and see? He was coming on a bit towards the end of last year.

The ERFA players (Theo Jackson, T.J. Smith, and Nick Muse) all get picked up which doesn’t cost anything since the salary is right around the minimum and any player displaced on the top 51 negates a cost.

That leaves Mundt, Powell, Osborn, Schlottmann, Wonnum, and Joseph as other possible additions that should not cost much besides Wonnum and Osborn.

Lowry and Ham also could be released to save cap space but that could come later after the draft. I think Lowry has a 3.7M injury guarantee on his 2024 salary so it would be a sunk cost if he does not make the team. Ham would save 1.7M if cut and he will be 31 years old. Not sure what he brings to the table anymore but I am sure some will campaign to keep him since he is from Minnesota.

In 2025, the big ticket extensions will be for Darrisaw and possibly Bynum. O’Neill will have a 26M cap hit so that is probably not going to remain and they could start thinking about a replacement. They would save 14.3M if he is cut or traded in 2025. He will be 30 as well. They have already restructured once so they might not want to continue to kick the can.


The roster before the draft would be ....

OFFENSE
QB: Mac Jones, Nick Mullens, Jaren Hall
RB: Ty Chandler, Alexander Mattison, Kene Nwangwu, DeWayne McBride, Mykles Gaskin
FB: CJ Ham
WR: Justin Jefferson, Lucky Jackson, N’Keal Harry, Trishton Jackson, Mailk Knowles
WR: Jordan Addison, Jalen Nailor, Thayer Thomas, Daylen Baldwin
TE: TJ Hockenson, Josh Oliver, Nick Muse
LT: Christian Darrisaw
LG: Dalton Risner, Henry Byrd
OC: Lloyd Cushenberry
RG: Ed Ingram, Tyrese Robinson
RT: Brian O’Neill, Blake Brandel, Coy Cronk
DEFENSE
DE: Javon Kinlaw, Dean Lowry
NT: Harrison Phillips, TJ Smith
DT: Christian Wilkins, Jaquelin Roy
LOLB: Danielle Hunter
LILB: Brian Asamoah II, Isaiah Simmons, William Kwenkeu
RILB: Ivan Pace Jr., Abraham Beauplan
ROLB: Patrick Jones II, Andre Carter II
LCB: Byron Murphy Jr., Andrew Booth Jr., Henry Byrd
SS: Josh Metellus, Theo Jackson, Lewis Cine
FS: Camryn Bynum, Jay Ward
RCB: Kendall Fuller, Akayleb Evans, Mekhi Blackmon, Joejuan Williams
NB: NaJee Thompson, Jaylin Williams
SPECIAL TEAMS
PT: Ryan Wright
PK:
LS: Andrew DePaola

Looking it over they probably bring back Schlottmann, Mundt, and depending on cost, Powell, Wonnum, and Joseph.


TRADES

Trade Partner: LA Rams
Sent: Round 1 Pick 11
Received: Round 1 Pick 19, Round 2 Pick 20
...
Trade Partner: Arizona Cardinals
Sent: Round 2 Pick 20, Future Round 2 Pick
Received: Round 1 Pick 27
..
Trade Partner: New York Jets
Sent: Round 6 Pick 1
Received: Round 6 Pick 9, Round 7 Pick 35
...

19: R1 P19 EDGE Demeioun Robinson - Penn State 6’3” 250

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 11 Michigan at Penn State Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

27: R1 P27 QB J.J. McCarthy - Michigan 6’3” 202

2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

42: R2 P10 DL Kris Jenkins - Michigan 6’3” 305

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 23 Rutgers at Michigan Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

108: R4 P8 EDGE Javon Solomon - Troy 6’2” 245

South Alabama v Troy Photo by Brandon Sumrall/Getty Images

130: R4 P30 Sione Vaki S Utah 6’0” 208

Utah v Arizona Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

139: R5 P3 CB Jarrian Jones - Florida State 6’0” 191

Louisiana v Florida State Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

158: R5 P22 Javon Foster OT Missouri 6’5” 319

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 11 Tennessee at Missouri Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

164: R5 P28 WR Luke McCaffrey WR Rice 6’2” 195

Rice v Houston Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

184: R6 P9 LB Trevin Wallace - Kentucky 6’2” 241

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 29 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl - Clemson vs Kentucky Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

187: R6 P12 DL Justin Rogers - Auburn 6’3” 346

NCAA Football: Auburn at Texas A&M Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

242: R7 P23 RB Cody Schrader - Missouri 5’9” 214

NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl-Missouri at Ohio State Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

254: R7 P35 K Joshua Karty - Stanford 6’2” 208

NCAA Football: Arizona at Stanford John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

First 10 picks ...
1 QB Drake Maye - Chicago Bears
2 QB Caleb Williams - Washington Commanders
3 QB Jayden Daniels - New England Patriots
4 OT Olumuyiwa Fashanu - Arizona Cardinals
5 EDGE Laiatu Latu - LA Chargers
6 WR Marvin Harrison Jr. - New York Giants
7 WR Malik Nabers - Tennessee Titans
8 EDGE Dallas Turner - Atlanta Falcons
9 EDGE Jared Verse - Chicago Bears
10 OT Tyler Guyton - New York Jets
next 9 picks ...
11 OT Taliese Fuaga - LA Rams
12 DL Jer’Zhan Newton - Denver Broncos
13 QB Michael Penix Jr. - Las Vegas Raiders
14 TE Brock Bowers - New Orleans Saints
15 OT Joe Alt - Indianapolis Colts
16 CB Kool-Aid McKinstry - Seattle Seahawks
17 OT Kingsley Suamataia - Jacksonville Jaguars
18 CB Terrion Arnold - Cincinnati Bengals

...

A couple of notes on these prospects.

Solomon led the NCAA in sacks with 16 and 18.5 TFL.

Schrader was third is rushing yards (1627) and first in ypg

Karty was first in kickoff avg at 64.74 which he could use at least one time per game.

I am not certain about the trade up with Arizona. May take the 1st next year which could be high and they need to hang onto it.


An alternate mock ...

Trade Partner: LA Rams
Sent: Round 1 Pick 11
Received: Round 1 Pick 19, Round 2 Pick 20
...
Trade Partner: Jacksonville Jaguars
Sent: Round 2 Pick 10
Received: Round 2 Pick 16, Round 4 Pick 16
...
Trade Partner: Buffalo Bills
Sent: Round 4 Pick 8, Round 5 Pick 28
Received: Round 3 Pick 34
...

19: R1 P19 OG Troy Fautanu - Washington

48: R2 P16 OT Kingsley Suamataia - BYU

52: R2 P20 DL T’Vondre Sweat - Texas

98: R3 P34 LB Payton Wilson - NC State

116: R4 P16 EDGE Javon Solomon - Troy

130: R4 P30 DL Darius Robinson - Missouri

139: R5 P3 S Jaden Hicks - Washington State

158: R5 P22 WR Luke McCaffrey - Rice

176: R6 P1 CB Jarrian Jones - Florida State

187: R6 P12 RB Cody Schrader - Missouri

242: R7 P23 S Mark Perry - TCU

This mock is cray cray right? Crazy like a fox!

If I do this mock then I do not re-sign Risner. Suamataia can take over in 2025 for O’Neill. The forest for the trees.


A nice little read for the true Super Nerds ...

https://harvardsportsanalysis.org/2022/10/when-nfl-teams-spend-big-they-become-mediocre/

I know that Mac Jones will get the most heat and that is fine. He got a pretty raw deal in New England. Jones was named to the 2021 PFWA All-Rookie Team and finished second in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting behind Ja’Marr Chase. He was also selected as an alternate to the 2022 Pro Bowl. He has a 66% completion rate with 46 TDs and 36 INTs.

He started his career with Josh McDaniels as his OC, then they hired Matt Patricia to call plays in 2022 before switching to Bill O’Brein last year. Three different play callers and probable systems in three years is tough on any QB let alone a rookie.

IDK. He could stink it up here too. I think it is worth a flyer. What other “bridge” QB could they get and how much would it cost.

Suppose he plays really well? If the team picks up his 5th year option (highly doubtful) they might be able to trade him for a lot more than what they spent to get him in this silly plan.

I would like to see him with KOC, JJ, Addison, and eventually Hockenson. How bad could it be going from an older very good pocket passer (i.e., statue) to a younger not so good pocket passer?

I do not know if they could get Wilkins but 25M per year likely gets his attention plus he played for Flores before. Will they have any pull?

I think they have to get a veteran corner because they wont find a corner early in the draft unless they go completely mental. Plus, don’t they have enough young corners?

The Cushenberry signing is also a pipe dream but the money is good. He was with Chris Kuper for his first two seasons in Denver as Kuper was the assistent offensive line coach. So there would be familiarity.

Simmons and Kinlaw fit the mold of young players coming off their rookie deals with plenty to prove and lots of potential.

Well, there it is. Have at it!