Stephen Weatherly took a pay cut in order to stick with the Vikings (Twitter link via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press). Instead of earning $2.5MM, the defensive end will make $2MM in 2020. On the plus side, that sum is now fully guaranteed since he is a vested veteran.
The Vikings considered cutting Weatherly after he lost his first-string spot to D.J. Wonnum. That would have left the club with $500K in dead money, so this was a much more logical compromise.
The 27-year-old started his career in Minnesota and came back to where it all began in March. He started out as a seventh-round pick in 2016 and went on to record six sacks between 2018 and ’19 for the Vikings. Last year, he moved on to the Panthers and began the year as a starter. Then, when finger injury derailed his season, second-rounder Yetur Gross-Matos stepped into his role.
Weatherly recorded zero sacks in Carolina, so he’ll aim for a more productive 2021. It all starts on Sunday when the Vikings face the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.