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 Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Stacy Coley, Jarius 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?
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.