Speculation

Jarius Wright on OverTheCap’s list of WR’s Who Could be Released

Could the Vikings veteran finally be let go?

The Vikings have positions they need to address this offseason, including DT, OL and of course QB. Wide receiver isn’t considered a team need since Adam ThielenStefon Diggs, Stacy ColeyJarius Wright and Laquon Treadwell all under contract for the upcoming season. However, without a true #3 option, is it time for the team to carve out a role for its younger pass catchers?

Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com listed 15 wide receivers that could be cut based on their current contract and performance. One Viking made the list, veteran wideout Jarius Wright. “Mr. Third Down” has been named as a candidate to be released for several seasons based on his contract. The 28 year-old has produced on the field every time the Vikings have asked him to. But could it finally be time for the team and Wright to part ways?

Fitzgerald wrote:

Jarius Wright, Vikings
Cap Saved: $2.6 million; Cash Saved: $3.7 million

Wright’s salary shoots up by $1.1 million this season and he is set to earn almost as much as Adam Thielen. Wright at best is a 4th receiver that can maybe get a shot as a 3rd with a frugal team. For the Vikings there is no reason to waste this money when they have far better players they can target with the extra cap room.

Wright quietly agreed to restructure his contract before the 2017 season. His $1.5M base salary was converted into a per game roster bonus. He’s due to make $4.76 million in 2018 and 2019 before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2020.

This season, Wright caught 18 passes on 25 targets for 198 yards with two touchdowns. Of his 18 receptions 13 were for first downs. In his six NFL seasons (all with the Vikings) Wright’s best year was 2014 when he had career-highs in receptions (42) and yards (588). The most touchdowns he had in a season was three (2013).

Releasing Wright before June 1st would result in $2.12M in dead money but it would save the Vikings $2.64M against the cap. Cutting the WR after June 1st would result in a $1.06M dead cap hit in both 2018 and 2019 but would save the team $3.7M this season.

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Sean Borman

Sean Borman is a writer with Minnesota roots that's still somehow an optimist. He was an intern with the Vikings during college and previously wrote for Rant Sports. You can find Sean on the golf course and on Twitter @SeanBoarMan.

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4 Comments

  1. Every time it is mentioned that the Vikings should move on from Wright, I wonder what they would do with the money saved. Who are the free agents out there that are going to make more of an impact than Jarius?

    A savings of $2.64M, what talent can be had for that amount?

    Is it all going to be thrown Cousins’ way?

    It was very clear in the NFCCG that the o-line wasn’t up to the task (granted there was some shuffling, but the Eagles were without Peters as well). Other than Elflein, Spielman doesn’t have a good track record of drafting impact offensive linemen.

    If the Vikings back up the Brinks truck for Cousins and discard talent like Wright, how do they improve on offense for 2018? Would have to bank on Spielman drafting another impact lineman or two, right?

    1. IF they move on from Wright, I could see them maybe pursuing a guard in free agency like Andrew Norwell. Although expensive he’d be a clear upgrade over Berger/Easton. But you’re right, Wright has been so solid anytime they call on him that I question whether or not cutting him is the right decision

  2. Well, I was in favor of signing Brandon Marshall last off-season instead of Michael Floyd. I don’t have a lot of confidence in any of the kids on the roster, including Treadwell, so I’d just as soon keep Floyd (more upside) and Wright (can slide into pretty much any role as a WR short of Red Zone tough guy). If they do cut Wright and/or let Floyd walk, I still wouldn’t mind signing Marshall to an incentive-laden contract, maybe in part based on Red Zone targets, third downs and touchdowns.

    1. That’s true, when is the last time the Vikings had a big-bodied red zone threat like that?

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