The Vikings just agreed to a five-year extension for running back Dalvin Cook, and in order to create sufficient cap room for that deal, the club restructured the contract of LB Eric Kendricks. Per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, Minnesota converted $6MM of Kendricks’ base salary into a signing bonus to spread out his cap charge (Twitter link).
This is the second year in a row that the Vikings and Kendricks have come together on a reworked deal. Last May, the club and Kendricks agreed to a similar restructure that may have allowed TE Kyle Rudolph to remain in Minnesota.
Of course, these types of kicking-the-can-down-the-road maneuvers always carry some risks, especially considering that the 2021 cap is expected to decrease. But Kendricks, who signed a five-year extension in 2018 that runs through the 2023 campaign, continues to play at a high level. As of right now, it looks like he will see the end of his contract — or sign another extension before then — so the dead cap charges that increase in a restructure like this one may never come into play.
Kendricks, 28, posted his fourth consecutive 100+ tackle campaign in 2019. He tallied 110 tackles in 15 games (all starts), and he graded out as the second-best LB in the league per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics. That effort led to a Pro Bowl nod and First Team All-Pro selection in 2019, the first such honors of his career.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.