AnalysisFree Agency

NFL Salary Cap Expected to Rise to Somewhere Between $138.6 Million and $141.8 Million

According to Jason La Canfora at CBS, owners were informed that the 2015 Salary Cap for the NFL will rise, possibly up to $142 million.

The fact that it could rise even higher than that means a lot when it comes to contracts. Because the amount of space a player takes up on a team’s overall payroll is the only thing worth caring about when it comes to player contracts (unless you have a moral objection to a particular player or group of players drawing large sums of money), this changes the 2015 landscape for a number of teams, including the Vikings.

Here’s a table (courtesy of OverTheCap.com) below with the 2015 cap hits for Vikings players and what percentage of the cap they take up. Next to the two different columns for the different caps is a column that looks at how much of the cap their average cap hit took up in the year they signed with Minnesota:

Player Signed Cap Hit Percent (138.6M Cap) Percent (141.8M Cap) Original Avg When Signed
Adrian Peterson 2012 $15,400,000 11.1% 10.9% 12.2%
Greg Jennings 2013 $11,000,000 7.9% 7.8% 7.3%
Chad Greenway 2011 $8,800,000 6.3% 6.2% 6.6%
Everson Griffen 2014 $8,200,000 5.9% 5.8% 6.4%
Phil Loadholt 2013 $6,750,000 4.9% 4.8% 5.1%
Kyle Rudolph 2014 $6,550,000 4.7% 4.6% 5.3%
Matt Kalil 2012 $6,290,644 4.5% 4.4% 4.1%
John Sullivan 2012 $5,750,000 4.1% 4.1% 3.9%
Brian Robison 2011 $5,450,000 3.9% 3.8% 4.3%
Matt Cassel 2013 $4,750,000 3.4% 3.3% 3.8%
Linval Joseph 2014 $4,600,000 3.3% 3.2% 4.7%
Captain Munnerlyn 2014 $3,833,333 2.8% 2.7% 2.9%
Brandon Fusco 2014 $3,550,000 2.6% 2.5% 3.2%
Ben Tate 2014 $2,950,000 2.1% 2.1% 2.2%
Anthony Barr 2014 $2,896,272 2.1% 2.0% 2.4%
Charlie Johnson 2011 $2,500,000 1.8% 1.8% 2.4%
Jerome Felton 2013 $2,500,000 1.8% 1.8% 1.8%
Harrison Smith 2012 $2,271,355 1.6% 1.6% 1.5%
Sharrif Floyd 2013 $2,202,600 1.6% 1.6% 1.7%
Xavier Rhodes 2013 $2,129,046 1.5% 1.5% 1.6%
Cordarrelle Patterson 2013 $1,969,376 1.4% 1.4% 1.5%
Teddy Bridgewater 2014 $1,556,705 1.1% 1.1% 1.3%
Marcus Sherels 2013 $1,250,000 0.9% 0.9% 0.9%
Andrew Sendejo 2013 $1,066,668 0.8% 0.8% 0.7%
Josh Robinson 2012 $950,250 0.7% 0.7% 0.6%
Jarius Wright 2012 $765,027 0.6% 0.5% 0.5%
J’Marcus Webb 2014 $745,000 0.5% 0.5% 0.2%
Rhett Ellison 2012 $735,146 0.5% 0.5% 0.3%
Robert Blanton 2012 $712,763 0.5% 0.5% 0.5%
Scott Crichton 2014 $705,507 0.5% 0.5% 0.6%
Gerald Hodges 2013 $690,027 0.5% 0.5% 0.5%
Blair Walsh 2012 $689,483 0.5% 0.5% 0.5%
Shaun Prater 2013 $660,000 0.5% 0.5% 0.5%
Audie Cole 2013 $660,000 0.5% 0.5% 0.5%
Jerick McKinnon 2014 $648,750 0.5% 0.5% 0.5%
Jeff Locke 2013 $631,048 0.5% 0.4% 0.5%
Michael Mauti 2013 $600,682 0.4% 0.4% 0.5%
Chase Ford 2013 $585,000 0.4% 0.4% 0.4%
Joe Banyard 2013 $585,000 0.4% 0.4% 0.4%
Zach Line 2013 $585,000 0.4% 0.4% 0.4%
David Yankey 2014 $561,725 0.4% 0.4% 0.5%
Antone Exum 2014 $538,947 0.4% 0.4% 0.4%
Shamar Stephen 2014 $526,287 0.4% 0.4% 0.4%
Brandon Watts 2014 $525,612 0.4% 0.4% 0.4%
Jabari Price 2014 $525,455 0.4% 0.4% 0.4%
Antonio Richardson 2014 $510,000 0.4% 0.4% 0.4%
Austin Wentworth 2014 $510,000 0.4% 0.4% 0.4%
Charles Johnson 2014 $510,000 0.4% 0.4% 0.4%
Adam Thielen 2014 $510,000 0.4% 0.4% 0.4%

The total adds up to $129 million, which doesn’t account for the fact that perhaps half of the young players will end up cut cap-free or on the practice squad. the Vikings have a negligible dead space hit for 2015 (so far) at only $264,000. With new rookies coming in and some of these young players being pushed out, expect the cap number to be somewhere between $131-$133 million or so without any changes. That gives the Vikings somewhere between $5.6 million and $10.8 million. I’m not comfortable with that number, so expect to see some restructuring, trading or outright cutting when it comes to Adrian Peterson, Chad Greenway, Greg Jennings and perhaps Brian Robison.

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14 Comments

  1. Greenway(7.1M), Charlie Johnson(2.5M) and Felton(2.5M) are goners in my book. That’s an easy 12.1M in cap space with only 1.7M in dead money(all which comes from cutting Greenway). I can see restructuring Robison but if I’m Jennings I’m calling their bluff. Teddy’s development, plus past QB ineptitude to rationalize average stats in yards & TDs and there would be more dead money(6M) than cap space created(5M).

  2. I think the Viking’s will keep AD, but restructure his contract. I would let Jennings go. I saw one idea of moving Kalil to guard and drafting or singing a left tackle. I think Charlie Johnson is gone. Greenway too.

    1. I’m with RadioRaul. Jennings is far too valuable (he IS leading the team in receiving yards this year) and produces on film even if he doesn’t get the damn ball. It’s hardly the guy’s fault that he’s consistently open and can catch the thing, but the quarterback’s won’t throw it to him. With consistent QB play next year, he’ll continue to be an asset.

      And Kalil would make a terrible guard.

      1. So we are just basically screwed with Kalil? If he doesn’t improve at tackle he is done then.

        1. He doesn’t have the frame/power to play in the interior. The guy has trouble keeping himself in the 300’s to play tackle. He’s not going to be able to bulk up enough to play guard, especially if he’s already having knee issues. Hopefully he gets fully healthy early this off-season so he can enter next year at full strength and get his confidence back. If he doesn’t rebound next year he’ll be done with the Vikings.

        2. Basically. There’s a bit riding on him to improve at tackle. But he has another year to prove it, if only because his contract is guaranteed.

  3. I could easily see Ben Tate coming off the books too. With Mckinnon, Asiata and AP (or rookie) on the team there’s no need for Tate and he doesn’t provide anything worthy of 3M. He’s simply insurance for the next 3 games and then maybe training camp.

  4. Arif, how has the new right tackle been grading out? Sullivan said the new right tackle has been grading out really well, from the coaches grades.

    1. He’s been much better than I expected, although I don’t know what that really says because my expectations were extremely low.

      He’s not playing like a starting-caliber tackle in my mind, but he’s close enough to it, that considering the circumstances, I’m not too bothered.

  5. I don’t see how anyone could be so certain Kalil can’t be an OG. The Vikes have shifted guys with lofty expectations who didn’t pan out to other positions on the OL and they turned out to be HOFers. With a pick that high it’s a wise decision to at least try. The X factor is, I guess, does Kalil really want to be here?

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