With NFL free agency less than one week away, the Minnesota Vikings front office has come to life recently. They’ve cut Dan Bailey and Riley Reiff, while getting Britton Colquitt to cut most of his salary. Releasing Reiff was the move that made waves and created what is now about $10 million in cap space.
With the status of the offensive line entering this offseason, I didn’t think that was a move they’d make. But they did and it sent a message through the locker room. Rick and Rob will do whatever it takes to get their hands on enough cash to make a splash (or two) this offseason.
Next up on the ‘pay cut or get cut list’, according to insiders around the league, is Anthony Barr. Why? He’s making double what he’s worth in this depressed and saturated open market. That’s not going to work, especially this season when the cap has been cut to $182 million.
Urgency now turns to what the #Vikings do with LB Anthony Barr since he has $7.1 million of his $12.9 million salary now on the books for 2021 due to become guaranteed March 19. He's got a whopping cap number of $15.062 million.— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) March 11, 2021
If #Vikings LB Anthony Barr were to become a free agent, salary-cap analyst Jason Fitzgerald predicted he likely on the open market could only command about half of the $12.9 million salary he is now on the books for.— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) March 11, 2021
Not the time to nickel and dime
This is not the season to have a big cap number, if you aren’t worth the money. There are so many teams needing to get below the $182 million cap ceiling, that good players like Riley Reiff and Anthony Barr have cut from just about every roster in the league.
That’s going to leave the free agent market full of quality NFL players and a bunch of teams with holes to fill but limited dollars to pay. We’re going to see value contracts signed this offseason that would have blown minds just 12 months ago. Guys like Anthony Barr have no choice but to renegotiate.
He can take a pay cut in Minnesota or he can take his spot in a 2021 NFL unemployment line of quality players just like him. Reiff decided to swim with the rest of the fish and take his chances. I applaud him for it. But if I were in his or Barr’s shoes, I’d take what I can get this season and leave myself an opportunity to make my money back in the future.
Only time will tell.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan