Vikings Restructure Harrison Smith as Danielle Hunter Trade Rumors Swirl
The NFL offseason is moving forward but the Minnesota Vikings are dragging their heels for every inch. While other teams have been busy moving and shaking their roster, Kwesi & Co have done the bare minimum.
Kirk Cousins is coming back, Michael Pierce got swapped out for a younger, less-proven defensive tackle, we picked up another captain-type MLB and, thank the football gods, (P) Jordan Berry got a new deal. But on Thursday morning, the Vikings front office finally flipped a cap-saving rock we’d been waiting for by restructured Harrison Smith’s contract, converting a portion of his salary into a signing bonus, freeing up $6 million in cap space.
Other teams creating cap space with contract restructures:— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 17, 2022
Vikings: $6M via Harrison Smith’s deal
Bills: $5.172M via Matt Milano’s deal
Titans: $6.456M via Zach Cunningham’s deal
Danielle Hunter Trade Incoming?
This move doesn’t allow the Vikings to do anything outside of what they’ve already done. They can now fit their Phillips and Berry contracts under the salary cap. We’ll see if they move to trigger these same types of cap-saving moves with others who could help, including Adam Thielen, Dalvin Cook and Eric Kendricks.
But the real domino that has yet to fall is Danielle Hunter. On March 20, Hunter’s contract becomes guaranteed for 2022 and he’s due an $18.5 million roster bonus. They can convert that to a signing bonus and save $13 million against the cap. The other option is to trade him, which the Minnesota Vikings have reportedly been heavily exploring.
As the #Vikings try to sort out their cap situation, sources continue to say they've been trying to trade Danielle Hunter, who's got an $18 million roster bonus due on Sunday.— Ben Goessling (@BenGoessling) March 17, 2022
Hunter has a $25.83M cap figure. The Vikings need to clear space to make their new deals official.
The Vikings have three more days to decide what to do with Danielle Hunter before he's due $18 million. Both a trade and a re-structured contract remain options.— Chad Graff (@ChadGraff) March 17, 2022
What’s taking so long?
The new Minnesota Vikings front office is either (a) showing an uncomfortable amount of patience that will soon reveal its brilliance to common folk like me or (b) acting with a concerning lack of decisiveness. I’m leaning toward the latter.
It’s possible that their desperate push for decision-making inclusiveness and corroboration is leading to indecisiveness. Does Kwesi have to decision-making hammer? Do the Wilfs? There’s a reason why “too many chefs in the kitchen” is such a well-know cliché.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan