It is being reported that the Minnesota Vikings have agreed to a new four-year, $16 million contract with strong safety Andrew Sendejo. The new deal now prevents Sendejo from hitting the open market as a free agent and signing with another team.
The fact that the Vikings have re-signed Sendejo does not come as much of a surprise, but the amount of money the team is giving him may seem a bit puzzling. A source close to the team however, thinks that the six-year NFL veteran will have to perform very well during the next four years to be awarded the full value of his contract.
Hear incentives high on Sendejo’s new deal. In other words, they can still pursue a safety. Sendejo good backup plan if miss out. #vikings
— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) March 5, 2016
Until the full breakdown of the contract is released, it is difficult to determine how Sendejo’s new contract will affect what Minnesota does this offseason in terms of free agency and the draft. Are they no longer in the market to sign a new starting safety or do they shift their focus to the draft and select someone to groom behind Sendejo for the next year or two?
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer had recently said that Minnesota free safety Harrison Smith could be even better with a more capable safety next to him. Since Sendejo was the player lined up next to Smith on defense in 2015, Zimmer and the Vikings may still be in the hunt for a new player to replace Sendejo in the starting lineup for next season.
Minnesota obviously felt that Sendejo performed well enough in 2015 to garner a new contract and remain with the team. In his first true season as a full-time starter on the VIkings defense, he finished second on the team in total tackles with 72.
In terms of depth, re-signing Sendejo does seem like a good decision since he has also been a key contributor on Minnesota’s special teams during the last few seasons. However, giving him potential starter money to possibly play as the team’s backup safety in 2016 still leaves plenty of questions that will need to be answered.
At least he will be able to have a little more money to spend on next year’s Valentine’s Day.