Latest On Vikings’ Riley Reiff, Pat Elflein

The Vikings are right up against the salary cap at the moment, but there are some moves they could make to open up some much-needed breathing room. For example, Minnesota is likely to release CB Xavier Rhodes, and Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune also names offensive linemen Riley Reiff and Pat Elflein as potential cap casualties.

Reiff remained at left tackle in 2019 despite some chatter that he could be moved inside to left guard. The Vikings instead elected to shift former center Elflein to LG after drafting Garrett Bradbury, and while Elflein did not perform poorly, he was not exactly a standout. But because of the league’s proven performance escalator, Elflein’s 2020 salary will increase from $960K to $2.147MM, so cutting the Ohio State product would save the Vikings about $2MM against the cap. Even if Minnesota hangs on to him, he could be relegated to a reserve role.

As for Reiff, the 31-year-old is due to earn a $10.9MM salary in 2020, but the Vikings would save nearly $9MM against the cap by releasing him, a huge amount for a club with Minnesota’s financial outlook. That would then allow the Vikings to select an offensive tackle in a draft that is deep at the position.

In addition to a potential O-line overhaul, the Vikings will also have a lot of work to do at cornerback. Rhodes will probably be cut and free agents Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander may not be re-signed, and head coach Mike Zimmer conceded that his team would need to address the position in the draft. Luckily for him, this year’s crop of collegiate CBs is also quite strong.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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8 comments on “Latest On Vikings’ Riley Reiff, Pat Elflein

  1. ron swanson

    They really mortgaged their future with all those big contracts with nothing to show for it, as they predictably failed the last 2 seasons to win anything with Cousins.

  2. nentwigs

    Cousins was supposed to be the final piece to get them to the promised land. He didn’t. He may be a nice guy and an “OK” quarterback but a 30 Million a year cornerstone he is not. Missing is the “WINNER” ingredient. Gotta believe that: Cousins, Spielman and Zimmer need to get it done this season or else.

  3. Gus Leggett

    Honestly, the VIkings should be making a lot of moves. First off, trade Diggs. He will fetch another 1st Rd pick for them. Then try and trade Joseph and Reiff…if no takers, cut them. Also cut Rhodes and Elflein. Trading Diggs opens about $14 mil. The other 4 (by cutting them) would open up about $29.4 mil in cap space. So realistically, that would create just a hair under $44 million in cap space. Drop $3.5 of that on draft picks. They now have approx. $40 million in cap space. Replace Diggs with Emmanuel Sanders. Sign Joe Thuney or (to a lesser extent) Graham Glasgow . Then use the 2 First Rd picks to select Jacob Eason and then the best OT available. Also try to bring back Trae Waynes, and if not, best CB in the 2nd Rd. See how far Seattle drives the price up on Everson Griffen.

      • Gus Leggett

        That’s right. I forgot about the dead cap space of $9 mil attached to Diggs. I think that is a stupid rule that that deal cap money stays with the team that trades the player away. So, I knew that I had come up with too much cap space. So, trying to get close to that number, I guess the need to cut players like Jaylyn Holmes ( save $485k), Ben Gedeon (saves $785k), Ty Conklin (saves about $590k), Hercules Mata’afa (saves $660k), Tony Brooks-James (about $585) and Kemon Hall (about $510k). Still try to get Sanders and Glasgow. And still try to keep Waynes. Let Griffen walk. Still think they should trade Diggs. And do everything possible NOT to extend Cousins. They need to get the QB of the future in this draft. I know none of this will happen since Spielman and Zimmer are only under contract for this year. But this could actually be a good year to reload for a year instead of going into a 3-4 year rebuild.

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