The Minnesota Vikings are continuing their effort to save 2021 salary cap space, as we inch closer and closer to tomorrow’s opening day free agency bell. In order to get everything they want out of the offseason, they will next look to the contracts of two cornerstone veterans, Adam Thielen and Harrison Smith (per multiple reports) to find more room under the cap.
Per Darren Wolfson (KSTP, SKOR North), the team has been working on Smith’s new contract for a bit longer, but the latest chatter on Thielen is that his deal is closer to being complete. Of course, neither Adam nor Harrison are expected to take any pay cuts. Rather, their new deals will likely include more money guaranteed or more of it up front.
This is a business. Players (rightfully) need incentive to make these things happen. Anthony Barr’s incentive, for example, was a faster return to the free agency pool. Most of the time, it’s money. Just like it is for everyone else. Welcome to the real world.
Does sound like the reworking of WR Adam Thielen’s contract is more likely than not to get done. He is not giving back $$. #Vikings— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) March 16, 2021
Nothing close yet on an extension for Harrison Smith, who’s entering the final year of his contract. But talks have taken place and will continue. Be nice to wrap him up, save 2021 $$, and have him retire as a Viking. Next stop after that: #Vikings Ring of Honor.— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) March 15, 2021
Others have confirmed Doogie’s report that Thielen’s deal is getting close to complete. Again, there will never be more talent in the free agency pool and the Minnesota Vikings have a lot of holes still to fill, specifically on the offensive line and defensive secondary.
Adam Thielen and Harrison Smith are still huge pieces of this puzzle. As long as Spielman and Brzezinski don’t get too crazy with money and guarantees down the road, there’s no reason new contracts for both guys should come back to haunt the front office.
The new deal Spielman is working out with Thielen, via Ben Goessling (Star Tribune), would save the team $7.5 million in cap space for 2021. According to Chris Tomasson (Pioneer Press) the Vikings have $5.3 million in space right now.
Were the #Vikings to convert Adam Thielen’s 2021 base salary to a signing bonus — and every indication remains they will — it would likely be a $10M bonus with a $1.1M base for Thielen. His cap number is $13.468M right now; it would drop to $6M with that structure.— Ben Goessling (@GoesslingStrib) March 16, 2021
After moves this week related to Anthony Barr (pay cut), Shamar Stephen (cut), Rashod Hill (re-signed), Dalvin Tomlinson (to sign), Nick Vigil (to sign), #Vikings have roughly $5.3 million of cap room They have ways to create more room including shifting salary to signing bonuses— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) March 16, 2021
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan