Pat McAfee Show Highlights National Media’s Misinterpretation of Vikings Salary Cap Situation

Vikings
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Pat McAfee Show is a beloved favorite among fans, especially during Super Bowl week in Vegas, where numerous guests make appearances. Today, ESPN analyst and former NFL player Dan Orlovsky joined the show and discussed the current situation of the Minnesota Vikings.

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During his segment, the former Detroit Lions quarterback suggested that the Vikings can’t afford to sign Kirk Cousins and extend Justin Jefferson, a viewpoint shared by much of the sports media. However, this narrative isn’t true at all. This information has been circulated among many football fans, both locally and at a national level.

Dan Orlovsky Needs To Do Some Research on Vikings

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Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The notion is that by making Jefferson one of the league’s highest-paid players, there may not be enough cap space to accommodate Cousins unless he accepts a discount. While many share this perspective, suggesting that Cousins could indeed take a discount, it’s not a necessity for him to do so. At least, not on an extreme scale.

During his appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, Orlovsky couldn’t resist revisiting the topic of the Minnesota Vikings’ potentially challenging cap situation. After McAfee brought it up, the now ESPN analyst went on to suggest that he wouldn’t be surprised if the Vikings decided to move up in the draft to select a quarterback as a possible solution to their cap woes.

We’ve previously discussed this topic on multiple occasions, after realizing early on that the Vikings future salary cap outlook, especially beyond 2024, appears promising. That future flexibility also gives them options for how they structure contracts next season, when constraints may be a bit tighter.

If you’re worried about 2024, don’t be. While it’s still uncertain whether Hunter and Cousins will remain with the team next season, the cap situation allows for them to be on the roster for next season and beyond. Don’t want to take our word for it? Ask Alec Lewis (The Athletic).

2025 Adjusted Salary Cap*$288,598,007
Vikings Total Salaries (w/Top 51)$139,913,805
Projected Cap Space$148,684,202
*Projected (Spotrac)

For the first time in years, the Minnesota Vikings enter the offseason with cap space. Rob Brzezinski, the team’s longtime cap expert, won’t be forced to do gymnastics with the team’s finances.

Minnesota won’t have unlimited room, however. Factoring in the cap space needed for potential draft selections, Over The Cap projects the Vikings to be able to spend around $20 million, which places the team in the middle of the pack. Other moves, like a potential extension for Justin Jefferson, could create even more space for spending.

Alec Lewis – The Athletic

The prevailing narrative suggesting that the Vikings have minimal cap space and that Cousins and Hunter won’t return unless they accept discounts needs to be reconsidered. In reality, the salary cap isn’t a significant obstacle for the team, and various factors are at play.

With many possibilities still on the table this offseason, it’s premature to make definitive judgments. If you’re a Vikings fan, there’s no need to be overly concerned about the salary cap situation.

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