The Vikings roster is quickly getting expensive. As Chris Tomasson of TwinCities.com points out, six players have salary-cap numbers that exceed $10MM for next season: quarterback Kirk Cousins, cornerback Xavier Rhodes, linebacker Anthony Barr, defensive end Everson Griffen, offensive tackle Riley Reiff, and safety Harrison Smith. The team is also paying more than $8MM to defensive tackle defensive tackles Linval Joseph and Sheldon Richardson, and they still have to extend wideout Stefon Diggs and defensive end Danielle Hunter.
With money quickly running thin (the Vikings currently have $17MM in cap space, and Tomasson believes part of that will be used for extensions), general manager Rick Spielman acknowledged that it’s difficult managing the team’s budget.
“The hardest thing right now is the economic structure on our team where we have all these high-priced guys now because they all deserve to get paid the way they’ve been playing,’’ Spielman said. “But economically, we’re not going to go out there, you can’t play fantasy football and have $3 (million), $4 (million) or $5 million backup guys. Those are going to be the young guys that we’ve drafted or we’ve developed.’’
Of course, as he should, Spielman has an optimistic view of the cap crunch.
“It’s a good problem to have, but we have a very high-priced roster right now,’’ Spielman said. “And eventually some of those guys are going to get aged out, just like we had some of our other Pro Bowlers … and you have to replace them.”
Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFC…
- There are a number of receivers who could realistically slide in behind Larry Fitzgerald on the Cardinals‘ depth chart, but even head coach Steve Wilks doesn’t have clarity on the situation. “It’s hard to say right now who will be that number two,” Wilks told Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. “We’re still working, and those guys understand and know — we talk about it all the time — the best 11 are going to play. We create competition.” Roster Resource currently has JJ Nelson, Christian Kirk, Brice Butler, Chad Williams, and Cobi Hamilton rounding out Arizona’s top-six.
- Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times believes Seahawks defensive back Earl Thomas is seeking a deal that would exceed Eric Berry‘s $13MM average annual salary. At the very last, the writer could see the veteran striving for the $12MM average annual salary that teammate Kam Chancellor earned from his extension. Earlier today, we learned that the safety was going to continue his holdout and would miss mandatory minicamp.
- Yesterday, the Rams continued a yearly tradition of signing all of their draft picks on one day.