In an unsurprising and unremarkable move, the Vikings are set on cutting tight end John Carlson, formerly of the Seattle Seahawks (and before that, Notre Dame).
Vikings will cut TE John Carlson, per source. Sides had been talking about a restructure but couldn’t reach an agreement.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 4, 2014
Minnesota had already restructured Carlson’s contract once in order to reduce the cap hit he took up (he was due a base salary of $2.9 million and had it reduced to $1.5 million), but still was going to consume $5 million in cap space in 2014, and $6 million in the two subsequent years. In his two years with the Vikings, he caught 40 passes for 387 yards, most of which came on the back end of 2013 after Kyle Rudolph was injured.
From a talent perspective, John Carlson was an OK backup tight end, but commanded too much salary to be worth keeping on the roster for the production he could provide. Despite a promising rookie and sophomore showing in Seattle was sidelined by injury and never gained it back.
The move to grab him as he was visiting the Kansas City Chiefs didn’t make much sense, and time didn’t prove Spielman right. It was a surprising amount of money to throw at an oft-injured tight end with no recent history of production, but that’s what happened and the Vikings paid for it.
The dead space incurred by this move is $3 million, according to Spotrac, which means the Vikings will either save $2 million this year and $6 million the next two years, or $3.5 million this year, $4.5 million next year and $6 million the year after that, depending on how they want to prorate his cap hit.