Vikings Still Have Cash to Spend and More Can be Found if Needed
This was supposed to be one of the tightest salary cap off-seasons in NFL history for all teams who care about winning in 2021. For a decade, the salary cap has exponentially increased year-over-year, allowing league general managers to push their player payroll spending to the ceiling.
But this season, the cap was cut by nearly $20 million because of a loss in revenue in 2020, leaving front offices everywhere with big decisions to make. The Minnesota Vikings were said to be especially vulnerable. How were Rick and Rob going to fix their offensive line and secondary while cutting $10’s of millions off their books?
Well after weighting through the weeds of free agency and completing an “A” rookie draft somewhere during, the Vikings somehow came out with a heavily improved roster and a pocket full of cash.
Vikings defense added since wk 17— Thomas Sullivan (@Yfz84) June 14, 2021
Packers offense subtracted
#Vikings still working with around $14M in cap space— Sean Borman (@SeanBormanNFL) June 17, 2021
Not done yet…?
I’m not exactly sure how the Minnesota Vikings found this fortuitous offseason position. This team looks really damn good, on paper, in a division that currently looks like one of the worst in football, especially should Erin Rodgers defect.
And Rick Spielman doesn’t appear to be done. There’s zero chance the Vikings enter the 2021 season with $10+ million left to spend on talent and they currently have $14 million. They’re still planning something. Could Rick be looking for more help on the offensive line, should Wyatt Davis not appear ready to step into a starting role during these offseason camps?
Might they spend some of it on a legitimate 3rd wide receiver to stick in the room with Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson? What about a defensive end to place on the opposite side of Danielle Hunter? All of these signings would make sense and shine an even brighter light on an already impressive offseason.
The Harrison Smith Piggy Bank
And should they need more money, Rob Brzezinski has an easy Harrison Smith bank account he can tap into. Smith is on the final year of a 5-year contract he signed back in 2016. He’s making a hair under $10 million and it’ll all be paid via non-guaranteed game checks. He’ll cost $10.25 million against the salary cap, the third-highest hit on the team (behind Kirk Cousins and Erik Kendricks).
Harrison Smith is 32 years old and appears to have plenty of game left in his pads. If the front office needed another ~$5+ million to spend on a missing puzzle piece, the team could easily give Smith his 2021 money now, in signing bonus form, while adding another couple years onto his life as a Minnesota Viking.
Some salary cap cash could still go out, if the Vikings decide to extend Brian O’Neill before he begins the final season on his rookie contract, but I think it’s safe to assume the team will spend another $15-ish million on talent before we get to training camp.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan