The Vikings have shifted their approach to the salary cap in order to preserve their core, ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert writes. Like most teams, the Vikings previously refused to extend players when they had more than one year to go on a deal. This year, they actually went to defensive end Everson Griffen and nose tackle Linval Joseph with early offers.
By changing up their philosophy, the Vikings got cost certainty on two key defensive linemen who were poised to eventually cash in on the open market. Meanwhile, Joseph was happy to trade in some potential financial upside for security.
“This game doesn’t last forever, at the end of the day,” Joseph said. “It was a great opportunity. I felt like I had outplayed my contract. For the Vikings to come to me and try to get something done, I was happy with that.”
Here’s more from Minnesota:
- We have details on Joseph’s four-year, $50MM extension, via Mike Florio of PFT. The deal gives Joseph $11.15MM fully guaranteed at signing with $31.5MM guaranteed for injury at signing. The cash flow of the deal (including the previously standing seasons) has Joseph making $26.9MM through 2019, $38.65MM through 2020, $49.9MM through 2021, and $62.4MM through 2022. In terms of “new money” – which is always a tricky metric – Joseph’s $12.5MM annual average makes him the league’s eighth highest-paid defensive tackle.
- More teams should look into extending contracts ahead of time like the Vikings did, Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap writes. Meanwhile, he feels that players and agents should be demanding more in scenarios like this. In the case of Joseph, he went from being virtually assured $15.5MM in 2017 and 2018 to getting $19MM, with $15MM of that being fully guaranteed. In essence, Joseph traded in his chance at a free agency payday for a $3.5MM pay bump and no significant guarantees for when the extension actually kicks in.
- Linebacker Eric Kendricks, defensive end Danielle Hunter, and wide receiver Stefon Diggs could be next in line for deals since they have 19 months remaining on their current deals, Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune writes. Linebacker Anthony Barr could also be in line for a new deal after the 2018 season, depending on what happens with his $12.3MM fifth-year option. Vikings GM Rick Spielman won’t get into specifics, but it sounds like more extensions could be on the way. “We still have a lot of work ahead of us. There are still some guys that we will be looking at to extend,” Spielman said Sunday. “I don’t know when or where those will take place, but we do have a strategic plan in place.”