Thursday, November 26, 2015

seth olsen

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The Vikings practice squad is always fluid, with players coming and going, but the details of these eight spots lose a lot of intrigue once the offseason ends and the regular season begins.  Still, there are some interesting things to keep an eye on as these moves are made.

For example, on Wednesday the Vikings signed defensive back Robert Steeples to the squad, and the fact that they assigned him jersey number 26 is perhaps a clear signal that the return of Antoine Winfield is not atop the front office’s priority list.

Yesterday, running back Bradley Randle was released from the practice squad along with defensive end Tristan Okpalaugo.  Meanwhile, running back Joe Banyard was signed to the practice squad.  Last week, it was Banyard being cut and Randle being added.  The Vikings have employed a technique in recent years where they go back and forth with certain players, adding them and dropping them from the practice squad, as a way of essentially keeping two guys in the mix while only tying up one roster spot.  This could be the case here as both Banyard and Randle have traits worth developing at the NFL level.

Additionally, defensive end D’Aundre Reed has officially parted ways with the team via an injury settlement, as did guard Seth Olsen.

Many of the national outlets reported last week that the Vikings signed backup quarterback Matt Cassel to a one year deal, which caused some confusion in these parts because we were saying it was a two year deal with an option.

With details of the contract now available, allow us to clarify the matter.

The deal is, in fact, for two years and carries a maximum value of $7.4 million.  In 2013 Cassel can earn a base salary of $1.65 million, already got a $2 million roster bonus, can make up to $500,000 in “not likely to be earned” incentives, and also has a $50,000 workout bonus.  That is a grand total of $3.7 million for this coming season.

Next year, the same incentives and workout bonus exist, and his base salary increases to $3.15 million.  The hitch is that there is a $500,000 roster bonus owed on the seventh day of the 2014 league year, at which time both the player and the team will have a decision to make.

Both sides have an option available to them that negates the second year of the contract.  So, basically, if Cassel feels he outperformed his 2014 compensation he can bail.  If the Vikings feel like he under-performed and don’t want to pay him then they can bail.  If Cassel performs just about right for that pay scale, then perhaps the second year of the deal will actually happen, but it seems somewhat unlikely which probably explains why so many were reporting it as a one year deal.

Cassel’s cap number is $3.7 million during both years of the deal.  The Vikings were thought to have over $5 million in cap space Tuesday morning, but they signed guard Seth Olsen on Tuesday, so the cap is still fluid.

Olsen played for the Vikings practice squad in 2010, and stuck to the roster for a little while in 2011, but ended up playing for the Colts these last two years.  Olsen made five starts in Indianapolis and figures to be a possible replacement for Geoff Schwartz, as he can play guard and tackle if need be.

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