On Tuesday, news broke that Vikings wide out Michael Jenkins agreed to take a significant cut in his pay under a renegotiated two year deal.
This year, Jenkins salary goes from $2.5 million to $1 million. In 2013, his salary goes from $2.5 million to $825,000. A roster bonus worth up to $2.425 million makes it unlikely that Jenkins is in the team’s plan beyond this season, but the restructured numbers make it likely that he sticks with the team through roster cuts following preseason.
Last summer the Vikings got both Greg Camarillo and Bernard Berrian to agree to salary reductions and both made the week one roster. Neither, however, remains on the team nearly a year later. Actually, neither is currently employed at all.
Asking Jenkins to take a pay reduction could have been a risky move for the Vikings. Had he refused, using the Greg Childs injury and Jerome Simpson suspension as leverage, the team could have very easily found themselves cutting the veteran without a viable backup plan in place.
Despite the pay cut, Jenkins still has the highest base salary of all receivers on the Vikings roster, which proves that Percy Harvin will need a pay raise soon enough and also that the Vikings are content taking the discount approach when it comes to the position. There were a number of talented, albeit expensive, options available in free agency this year that the Vikings simply passed on.
Right now, the quarterback and the wide receiver positions take up a very small amount of the team’s salary cap. That figure is even smaller now with the Jenkins reduction. One can’t help but wonder if the production from the passing offense will match the investment, or lack thereof, the front office has made from a dollar standpoint.
Now, the only remaining question for this season is if they will find a way to spend their newly found cap space. And, if so, whether or not they will spend it on something that helps their aerial attack.