Vikings Rumors

NFL Contract Details: Lions, Seahawks, Vikings, Jets, Broncos

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed NFL deals:

  • Tony McRae, CB (Lions): One year, $1MM. $200K guaranteed. $100K signing bonus (Twitter link via Justin Rogers of the Detroit News).
  • Phillip Dorsett, WR (Seahawks): One year, $1.048MM. $138K guaranteed. Qualifies as veteran minimum salary benefit deal (Twitter link via Brady Henderson of ESPN.com).
  • Ameer Abdullah, RB (Vikings): One year, $910K. $45K signing bonus. $45K roster bonus. Qualifiers as veteran minimum salary benefit deal (Twitter link via Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune).
  • Anthony Zettel, DE (Vikings): One year, $910K. $45K signing bonus. $45K roster bonus. Qualifiers as veteran minimum salary benefit deal (Twitter link via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press).
  • Joseph Jones, LB (Broncos): One year, $825K. No guaranteed money (Twitter link via Mike Klis of 9News).
  • Bennett Jackson, DB (Jets): One year, $725K. $100K guaranteed. $50K signing bonus (Twitter link via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com).

NFC North Notes: Lions, Okudah, Foles

The Lions will have a major impact on how the quarterback dominoes fall in this year’s draft. Although they are unlikely to select a rookie signal-caller themselves with the No. 3 overall pick, they have long been rumored as a team that could trade down with another club that has a bigger QB need. And if standout Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young is off the board by the time Detroit is on the clock, Albert Breer of SI.com says the Lions will indeed be open for business, as they could move down to the No. 5 or No. 6 pick and still pick up an elite defender like Jeff OkudahIsaiah Simmons, or Derrick Brown.

However, both Breer and Justin Rogers of the Detroit News believe the Lions’ preference among the non-Young defenders is Okudah, who may be gone if Detroit trades back, and Rogers does not see an immediate fit for Simmons in the club’s defense. So unless the Lions are blown away by an offer, they could stand pat and select one of Young or Okudah.

Now for more from the NFC North:

  • New Bears quarterback Nick Foles restructured his contract after being traded to Chicago from Jacksonville, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com passes along a few more details on the restructure (Twitter link). Foles will earn $8MM in base salary over each of the three remaining years on his contract for a total of $24MM in salary, $21MM of which is guaranteed. Each of those three seasons also comes with an additional $6MM in available incentives, and for every dollar of incentives that Foles earns, his base salary for the following year increases (so if he earns $3MM of incentives in 2020, his salary in 2021 will increase from $8MM to $11MM).
  • As we heard previously, Foles will have the opportunity to void the 2021 or 2022 seasons if he meets certain performance thresholds, so as Rapoport notes in a separate tweet, the former Super Bowl MVP has landed jelly-side up despite a disappointing 2019 season with the Jags. He was paid $30MM for his one year in Jacksonville, keeps the guaranteed money from his Jaguars contract, and has the opportunity to hit free agency as soon as next year if he performs well with the Bears.
  • The Vikings have managed to carve out some salary cap space for themselves this offseason, and after setting aside the funds necessary to sign their 2020 draft class, they have about $8.4MM of space still available, per Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (via Twitter). Tomasson says that the team is continuing to look at veteran cornerbacks, which makes sense given the mass CB exodus that Minnesota witnessed last month. Dre Kirkpatrick and Logan Ryan are among the top corners still available.
  • Tomasson adds that the Vikings are still looking into a Dalvin Cook extension, which echoes his report from several weeks ago.

Vikings Pursuing Anthony Harris Extension

Linked to being a tag-and-trade candidate early in free agency, Anthony Harris now appears likelier than not to suit up for the Vikings again. The expectation is for the franchise-tagged safety to play in Minnesota in 2020, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

The Vikings had dangled Harris in trades for a return as low as a late-round pick, but Tomasson notes they are now discussing an extension for the breakout defender. Harris would welcome a Minnesota re-up but wants to be one of the league’s highest-paid safeties, Tomasson adds.

Minnesota already employs one of the NFL’s highest-paid players at this position, with Harrison Smith still tied to the five-year, $51.25MM deal he signed in 2016. Devoting extensive cap space to two safeties is out of the ordinary, but Tomasson notes the Vikings now view keeping Harris as key for its defense’s success.

While the Vikings have valued continuity, building their defensive core for years through pricey extensions, they have seen many pieces of its defense stripped away this month. They released Xavier Rhodes and Linval Joseph and will not re-sign Everson Griffen. Minnesota also is starting over at corner, having seen Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander defect to Cincinnati. Safeties Jayron Kearse and Andrew Sendejo also left for Detroit and Cleveland, respectively. Keeping Harris may be more important now than it was at free agency’s outset.

Pro Football Focus graded Harris as one of the NFL’s best safeties over the past two years. He will turn 29 this summer, making his next contract critical for his earning potential. The 2020 safety tag is worth $11.4MM, but five safeties now earn north of $14MM per year. It is also possible a new Harris deal would prompt Smith to seek a raise, given his 5-0 Pro Bowl edge on his safety sidekick, but nothing is known on that front yet.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikings-Jarius Wright Reunion Unlikely

  • The retooling Panthers did not pick up Jarius Wright‘s 2020 option, sending the veteran wideout into free agency. Although the Vikings shed Stefon Diggs‘ contract, do not expect Wright to return to Minnesota. The longtime Vikings slot receiver has a slim chance of returning to the team for which he played six seasons, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets. The Vikings released Wright in 2018; the 30-year-old wideout played the past two seasons with the Panthers.

NFC Contract Details: Zuerlein, Poe, Shell, Vikings

We’ve got a bunch of contract details to pass along, all out of the NFC:

Vikings Re-Sign OL Dakota Dozier

The Vikings are hanging on to another one of their offensive lineman. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that the team has re-signed offensive guard Dakota Dozier. It’s a one-year, $1MM deal.

Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets out some more info, noting that the 28-year-old will earn the veteran minimum of $910K, plus a $90K signing bonus. Dozier is expected to count $840K against the cap.

The 2014 fourth-round pick spent the first five seasons of his career with the Jets. He joined the Vikings last offseason, and he proceeded to appear in a career-high 16 games (including a career-high four starts). During his career, Dozier has appeared in 54 games.

The Vikings had already retained a pair of offensive lineman. Since the start of the offseason, the front office has re-signed center Brett Jones and offensive tackle Rashod Hill.

Vikings Interested In Darryl Roberts

The Vikings are on the lookout for cornerback help and former Jets CB Darryl Roberts is on their radar, as Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press tweets. Ditto for Kevin Peterson, who was recently non-tendered by the Cardinals, according to Darren Wolfson of KSTP (on Twitter). 

Roberts, entering his fifth pro season, spent his entire career with the Jets up until his release last Saturday. The Vikings, who just watched Xavier Rhodes leave for the Colts, are among the teams with interest.

Roberts may not be a glamorous addition, but he would offer experience to the Vikes’ group. He’s got 56 appearances and 26 career starts to his credit, including 13 games and ten starts in 2019. He also had one of his best performances against the Vikings a couple years back – a career-high eleven tackles (with two tackles for a loss) in 2018.

The former seventh-round pick inked a three-year, $18MM deal with the Jets in March of last year. One year into it, the Jets’ new regime dropped him in order to save $6MM against the books.

This time around, Roberts figures to cost a bit less, and a one-year deal would probably make sense for both the player and the team that signs him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Davis, Roberts, Haeg

Let’s take a closer look at the details of a few recently-signed free agent contracts:

AFC

NFC

  • Sean Davis, S (Redskins): One year, $4MM. $2MM guaranteed (Twitter link via John Keim of ESPN.com).
  • Seth Roberts, WR (Panthers): One year, $3.75MM (Twitter link via Mike Garafolo of ESPN.com).
  • Zach Kerr, DT (Panthers): Two years, $3MM. Unknown incentives available (Twitter link via Garafolo).
  • B.J. Goodson, LB (Browns): One year, $2.4MM. $2.25MM guaraneed. $1.25MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com).
  • Joe Haeg, T (Buccaneers): One year, $2.3MM. $1.5MM guaranteed. Up to $1MM available via playtime incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Cedric Ogbuehi, T (Seahawks): One year, $2.3MM. $500K guaranteed. $500K signing bonus (Twitter link via Brady Henderson of ESPN.com).
  • Will Parks, S (Eagles): One year, $1.5MM. $1.375MM guaranteed. $375K signing bonus. Up to $125K in per-game roster bonuses (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Tajae Sharpe, WR (Vikings): One year, $1MM. $675K guaranteed. $175K signing bonus. Max value of $1.5MM (Twitter link via Pelissero).
  • Sharrod Neasman, S (Falcons): One year, $950K. $40K signing bonus. Veteran salary benefit (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Joe Walker, LB (49ers): One year, $900K. Max of $75K in per-game roster bonuses (Twitter link via Wilson).

Vikings To Re-Sign OL Brett Jones

The Vikings have agreed to re-sign interior offensive lineman Brett Jones to a one-year, $910K deal, according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press (Twitter link).

Minnesota acquired Jones from the Giants in 2018 after he’d started 13 games for New York the previous season. With the Vikings, Jones has been almost exclusively a reserve, as he’s made only three starts (all in 2018). He was actually released last September to make room for wide receiver Josh Docston, but was re-signed shortly thereafter. Jones, 28, ultimately appeared in only two games in 2019 before being placed on injured reserve.

Jones reportedly wanted to test the free agent market in search of a starting role. Per Tomasson, the Cowboys — who recently lost center Travis Frederick to retirement — also expressed interest in Jones before he re-upped with the Vikings. Dallas has Joe Looney and Connor McGovern on hand as options to replace Frederick, but Jones could have had a shot as the Cowboys’ pivot, as well.

Colts, CB Xavier Rhodes Agree To Deal

The Colts will add a longtime starter to their cornerback corps. Former Vikings standout Xavier Rhodes agreed to a deal to join the Colts, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Rhodes’ new contract is worth around $5MM, per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link).

A recent Vikings cap casualty, Rhodes secured a one-year Colts contract Thursday in a bid to re-establish his value. The seven-year veteran’s stock has dipped considerably since he signed a Minnesota extension in 2017. Rhodes, 30 in June, struggled for most of last season.

Despite cutting Rhodes with three seasons remaining on his contract, the Vikings tried to re-sign him, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. Minnesota has now lost three former first-round corners, with Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander defecting to Cincinnati.

The Vikings, who used a 2013 first-round pick on Rhodes, gave their then-CB1 a five-year, $70MM pact in the summer of 2017. He earned first-team All-Pro acclaim that season, which came after a Pro Bowl 2016 when the Florida State product intercepted five passes.

Rhodes regressed fairly early over the course of his second contract, however. Despite being voted to the Pro Bowl as an alternate, Rhodes allowed a 127.8 passer rating last season. The Colts will aim to bring Rhodes closer to his top level next season.

This Rhodes addition comes less than a week after the Colts cut Pierre Desir a year after extending him. Rhodes will join a cornerback contingent that houses Rock Ya-Sin and standout slot man Kenny Moore.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.