CAP Space Analysis: Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings come into 2021 with about -$5 million in cap room. Let’s investigate what the future fantasy implications are and what moves they can do to create more cap room.
The Vikings hit draft gold with Justin Jefferson last year. They still have Theilen locked up through 2024 when he is 34 and I suspect we are seeing the last couple of years of him there as they look to add youth in the draft. They have 8 draft picks in the 3rd through 5th rounds and could add lots of young talent here.
I also looked at what they do with Kirk Cousins as he only has this year and next on his deal and in 2022 he has only $10 million in dead cap and $35 million in cap savings. If they choose to not address his contract now, they can clear about $39 million in cap room with $16 million in dead cap. They have projected cap room of $48 million in 22 with the dead cap of $16 would put them at $64 million available. I think they address his contract this offseason and extend him clearing almost $16 million more in cap room and putting them at $54 million in cap space with all the moves above.
Bailey's meltdown at the end of the year brings nightmares for Vikings fans and you would expect him to likely be cut as they look for competition. Barr has dropped off significantly in his play and at the cost is not worth it now. While he carries almost as much dead cap hit as savings, this is more a move for 2022 to free up the $15 million extra cap space. Riley Reiff could end up being safe as the Tackle market is thin this offseason but with only one year left on his deal and the amount of mid-round picks they have, I think they move on from him and add a cheaper FA and young guys in the draft.
WRs: JJet is the stud here, unless you drafted him last year, you are likely not getting him from his owner without an overpay. Thielen can likely be had on a discount as people worry about his age. But they could also shock us and add another young stud WR at 14 to pair with JJet and this then leaves Theilen looking like a cut candidate after this year. I did not include him in the listing above as it would be next offseason before they make a move likely as they would save $10.8 million with only $3.6 million in dead cap or they could trade him mid-season and save close to $11 million on this year’s cap if they draft a rookie early. Any WR they add in rounds 3-4 will be one to keep an eye on as well if they do not add one in FA or via their 1st. I would not look to add any of their other current WRs to my team at this time.
TEs: that noise you hear was Irv Smith’s buy window slamming shut. If you have followed the Fantasy Scouts they have been noting since last year that he was a buy low before they cut Rudolph. Now that he is a Free agent, and they saved almost $5 million with that cut which cut their cap deficit in half almost.
RBs: It's Dalvin Cook and Mattison. If you own Cook, you should have Mattison as his handcuff, if you don’t have him, you are likely to be overcharged to get him. Both are going to too expensive to really acquire right now. Mattison should cost a 3rd but most owners will probably want a 2nd and with this draft class, I would keep the 2nd and target Gainwell, Jermar Jefferson, or a WR that falls into this round.
1st Round #14
3rd Round #79
3rd Round #91
4th Round #110
4th Round #116
4th Round #125
4th Round Comp pick projected (Trae Waynes)
5th Round #141
5th Round #155
6th Round #175
6th Round Comp Pick projected (Mackensie Alexander)
7th Round #206