Tuesday, October 13, 2015

NFL Free Agency

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Only a few days remain until the 2015 NFL Draft, so looking ahead to the 2016 free agency situation seems incredibly far away. It’s worth being aware of, however, because the Vikings have 23 players entering the final year of their contract this season.

On top of those 23, keep this in mind: 2012 first-round pick Harrison Smith has a fifth-year option in his contract, which gives the Vikings another 16 games to make any long-term decisions. According to ESPN, GM Rick Spielman has until May 3 to decide on the extra year. It seems safe to say at this point, however, that Spielman will go to lengths to keep Smith in purple, and it could be costly. The safety’s current deal is worth $7.14 million.

There will be a lot of decisions to be made regarding re-signing, restructuring, or saying “good-bye” to lots of roster members, so let’s see who will be free agents prior to the 2016 season:




*will be a restricted free agent

Let’s take a look at a few of the more notable players on this list…

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For the Chad Greenway fans out there (myself included), you’ll be happy to see this tweet by USA Today’s Tom Pelissero:

Greenway has been one of those question marks as the Vikings have entered free agency, mostly because his contract takes up a good-sized chunk of Minnesota’s cap space.

In his tenth NFL year, he would count $8.8 million against Minnesota’s salary cap; if released, he would count a much smaller number ($1.7 million) against the cap. Last season Greenway willingly took a pay cut, restructuring his contract to stay in Minny, and it seems he is willing to do the same again.

Per Star Tribune beat reporter Matt Vensel, the Vikings have re-signed RFA swing tackle Mike Harris.

Minnesota tendered an offer to Harris on March 10, and the two sides reached a deal Tuesday morning. At the time of the initial offer, Harris said the following:

“It’s a place where I feel like I can grow as a player. [The Vikings have] a great coaching staff, especially (offensive coordinator) Norv Turner. Offensively, it’s just going to get better this year and I just want to be part of it. I’m just happy they have the confidence in me and they believe in me and want me on the team.’’

Round 2 of VT Question of the Week is on the board! This week we keep in mind the free agency moves that have—and haven’t—happened thus far and look ahead to the 2015 NFL Draft. 

If you’re the Vikings, and the Draft is tomorrow, who do you take at No. 11—and why?

AndyAndy: Brandon Scherff, OT – Iowa.

The Vikings didn’t overspend for Iupati (smart) or Boling (ehh), so LG is still a need. [Joe] Berger is back, but he’s no starter, and Yankey is a major wildcard. If the Hawkeye mauler is there at 11, take him. Plug him in at LG this season and even let him audition for LT down the road if Kalil doesn’t rebound in 2015.

brentBrent: Trae Waynes, CB – Michigan State

Waynes has tremendous size and plays physically at the line of scrimmage. Not only can he body a wide out and put him on an island, but he has great ball skills and is more than willing to help in run support. Knowing how the NFCN throws the football, a corner back like Waynes gets priority over any 2 down linebacker or defensive lineman, in my opinion. Having two lock-down corners will be incredibly valuable to Zimmer, who likes to get creative with this defensive schemes. Trust your back end coverage, and you have endless possibilities on defense.

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(UPDATE): It seems like the Vikings are genuinely interested in Michael Johnson:

Original story below


Wednesday afternoon, Chris Tomasson reported that a source close to defensive end Michael Johnson said he expects the Vikings to be “in the running” for Johnson’s 2015-2016 destination. Tampa Bay waived Johnson earlier Wednesday, and he is not expected to make an immediate decision. However, Minnesota could hold the upper hand as head coach Mike Zimmer has already worked with Johnson. “Zimmer’s his guy,’’ said the source. “He almost went (to Minnesota) last year.’’ Two days ago, ESPN’s Ben Goessling reminded us of just that:


Johnson played with the Bengals from 2009-13, when Zimmer was Cincinnati’s defensive coordinator. Although considering Minnesota last year, he instead signed a five-year, $43.75 million contract with the Buccaneers. It was at that point the Vikings re-signed Everson Griffen.

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