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It's Closing Time - Vikings Journal Is Shutting Down

Minnesota Vikings Talk Yesterday, 07:00 PM
Hey guys,    The title pretty much says it all, but the MinnCentric team has decided to shut down Vikings Journal. I think they...

Article: Thank You For Supporting Vikings Journal

Minnesota Vikings Talk 14 Jan 2017
It is with a great deal of sadness that we must announce that Vikings Journal will cease to be an updated web site effective immediately,...

Purple Pain is still alive

Minnesota Vikings Talk 11 Jan 2017
Back to the old board ... looks good as new.   Purple Pain Board  

Article: 7 Questions the Minnesota Vikings Need to Answer

Minnesota Vikings Talk Yesterday, 07:00 PM
The rollercoaster ride that is the Minnesota Vikings 2016 season is almost over. It started with the initial low from the shock of losing...

Article: Vikings, Greenway and The Journal Bid Adieu in W...

Minnesota Vikings Talk Yesterday, 01:13 PM
The Minnesota Vikings finished their season with a bang on New Year’s Day at U.S. Bank Stadium, walloping the hapless (and completely che...

Pick 4 results are in

Minnesota Vikings Talk 03 Jan 2017
Here are the final results and full list of winners from the 2016 Pick 4. Also make sure to head over to Purple Pain where the play off e...

A Look Ahead to the Vikings' Offseason; Impending Free Agents, Cuts and Trades

Posted by jtkoupal , 31 December 2016 · 0 views

After witnessing the abominable collapse that has transpired at U.S. Bank Stadium, and by analyzing the payroll for 2017 and beyond, it appears evident that there will be several personnel changes for the Vikings this upcoming offseason. Players will have to endure cuts, trades will have to be made, and there will be players departing for (perceived) greener pastures. With that being said, let's take a look at the gut-wrenching decisions that Rick Spielman faces this offseason.

Step one of the process is determining which of the Vikings' impending free agents should/are likely to stay and which should/are likely to depart.

Before we begin, however, it is important to clarify that it would be ideal to keep Captain Munnerlyn, whose contract runs out after this year. However, he is likely to get a long-term deal worth roughly $8M per year. It would be ideal to keep him, but it could be difficult to fit that in the payroll.

ERFA/RFA Tenders:

RB C.J. Ham
WR Adam Thielen (or multi-year extension)
​T Jeremiah Sirles
G Zac Kerin

UFA Re-Signings:

RB Matt Asiata
FB Zach Line
WR Cordarrelle Patterson
TE Rhett Ellison
P Jeff Locke

Given those lists, here are the players likely to depart:

QB Shaun Hill
T Jake Long
T Andre Smith
DE Justin Trattou
LB Audie Cole
T Matt Kalil
WR Charles Johnson
CB Captain Munnerlyn

After analyzing Minnesota's payroll and salary cap situation, 4 players stood out as candidates to be cut. These are ordered based on likelihood of being cut.

RB Adrian Peterson- This is the most obvious one. It will be a tearful goodbye for many Vikings fans, but one that has to happen for the good of the franchise. Adrian Peterson will be wearing a different uniform next year, but given his $18M cap hit for 2017, that isn't a bad thing by any means.

G Brandon Fusco- After suffering his 2nd concussion and failing to live up to the Brandon Fusco of old, it would make a lot of sense to save $3.2M and move on from him. The Vikings need offensive line help, and Fusco could provide it, but it would also make a lot of sense to reinvest the $3.2M in cap savings into higher-quality help from outside.

DT Sharrif Floyd- Due to the lack of high-quality depth at DT after Linval Joseph, it would make some sense to keep Floyd. However, after not seeing him on the field all season, it would be an even better idea to save his $6,757,000 and move forward.

WR Jarius Wright- 6 catches, 42 yards, 1 snap on Christmas Eve in Green Bay, $1.48M in cap savings if cut. Cutting Jarius Wright doesn't save much money, but it makes little sense to invest any amount of money into 6 catches for 42 yards. An undrafted free agent could do that. A special-teamer could do that. Play him or cut him.

In addition to letting go of any number of the 4 names above, it may finally be time to trade away DE Brian Robison. Robison is 33 years old and has been a mainstay on the defensive line for the last several years. However, his time may have come to an end. Danielle Hunter is emerging as an absolute star and should be starting in 2017. Also, considering the lack of a first-round pick, it would be a great idea to flip Robison for some draft picks to bolster what looks to be a very deep draft, especially for Running Backs and Offensive Linemen.

The Vikings will need to look for outside help in free agency as well, but the picture of the upcoming free agent class will be much clearer once the season ends and teams make their cuts and re-sign their players.

This will be an important offseason for Minnesota. They have the defense to compete for a Lombardi Trophy in their own stadium next season, but the question remains whether or not they can build enough of an offense to score enough points and sustain enough drives to allow the defense to maintain their potential dominance.