Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Monthly Archives: March 2013

Leading up to the visit, and eventual signing, of wide receiver Greg Jennings there were reports that the Packers were making an effort to keep him and there were varying reports regarding just where Jennings’ market measured up.

We already have discussed that Jennings signed a five year deal with the Vikings worth an average of about $9 million per year.

Now, Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel brings us details about just how things ended with the Packers, and also points out that the Vikings and Packers weren’t the only team interested in Jennings.

According to McGinn, Jennings turned down an extension offer from the Packers that averaged $11 million per year, because he was seeking something more in the neighborhood of $15 million.  A concussion during training camp was followed by an abdominal injury that required surgery, and his perceived value obviously took a hit after those injuries prevented him from having a normal Jennings-type season on the field.

After all, Jennings had flat out missed half of the last 22 Packers games, and questions about his long term viability were being raised for the first time in his career.

Despite the injuries and a stacked depth chart, however, the Packers showed significant interest in retaining the 29 year old wide out.  According to McGinn’s sources, Jennings had an offer from the Packers that averaged about $8 million per year.  This was significantly less than what they offered him last year, and way less than the $15 million average he was originally seeking, so Jennings sat tight during the opening days of free agency to see if anyone stepped up.

With the deep-pocketed Miami Dolphins shelling out a bunch of money to Mike Wallace, and Seattle trading for Percy Harvin, the possible landing destinations for Jennings started to narrow.  The New England Patriots did make an offer to Jennings, which averaged about $6 million per year, but those talks didn’t go very far, writes McGinn.

The Vikings, as Jennings puts it, “stepped up to the plate” with their contract offer following a wooing period in the Twin Cities.

It appears pretty obvious that the Vikings paid more than anyone else was willing to, but clearly less than the market thought Jennings was worth last year.  The hope is that Jennings is able to return to his 2010 form and avoid future injuries so that the contract looks less like a desperation move, and more like a bargain.


Left guard Charlie Johnson seemed a likely candidate to be asked about a pay cut in 2013 and it turns out he already has been, and agreed to a new deal that gives the Vikings half a million more in cap room.

According to 1500 ESPN, his new deal increases his roster bonus from $500,000 to $750,000, but drops his base salary from $2.95 million to $2.45 million.  The new deal also erased $250,000 worth of playing time incentives.

His 2013 cap hit went from $4.35 million to $3.85 million, giving the Vikings some much needed room.

Prior to striking deals with quarterback Matt Cassel and wide out Greg Jennings late last week the Vikings were thought to have about $13.8 million in cap space.  After their deals are approved by the league office we should be able to learn more about what their adjusted cap numbers look like.

Armed with 11 draft picks, some speculation has included Johnson getting released outright if the Vikings find a promising young rookie, and nothing about this new deal should make it any less possible.

It is also possible, still, that other high priced veterans are approached about restructuring their contracts.

There is some speculation out there that the Greg Jennings signing caused the Vikings to max out their credit card, from a salary cap standpoint, and will be done spending in free agents.  While it seems likely the Vikings are close to the spending threshold, we do not yet know what Greg Jennings’ cap hit will be, and there could be more restructuring or releases in the near future that give the Vikings some flexibility.

So, let’s assume for a minute that the Vikings end up having some money left to spend, but not enough to go shopping for big names.  Who could they target at what positions?  Here are seven guys I think could be great bargains at this point in the offseason:

Larry Grant, LB, 49ers:  Signing Jennings gave the Vikings some flexibility when it comes to their first round draft picks.  Signing a guy like Grant, who filled in well for an injured Patrick Willis in 2011, could provide them similar flexibility as it now assumed the Vikings will be targeting a middle linebacker early on.

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The NFL offseason is weeks and weeks of waiting followed by a brief period of absolute chaos.

The last few days have been pretty chaotic, and a lot has taken place, but we have all the major notes of interest in one place so that you don’t have to go searching around our site, or the rest of the internet, to find what you are looking for.

Be sure to check out the Offseason Tracker to keep up on all of the latest Vikings news and follow the various links for complete analysis and opinion on each topic.  Or, at the very least, lie to me and tell me you went there and like that page so that I feel special.

Either works.

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By the time the Vikings held their press conference last night to inrotude newly acquired receiver Greg Jennings it had already been reported that he would wear #15, his number from his college days.

Still, strangely absent from the introduction was the obligatory jersey presentation that normally takes place when a big name player joins a new team.

Speculation has been growing all offseason that the Vikings would be getting new uniforms in 2013, and this could be the best evidence yet that something is in the works to update the oft-criticized uniforms they currently wear.  The Vikings also updated their Norseman logo earlier in the offseason.

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