Minnesota Still Has More Than $13 Million in Cap Space. Will The Vikings Spend This Money?

If you head over to Over the Cap, you may be surprised to see that our Minnesota Vikings still have more than $13 million in cap space. It’s a remarkable amount of money when we consider the stage of the offseason, how many free agent additions they’ve made, and the reduced finances due to Covid.

It’s worth noting that this $13+ million even comes after the Vikings finished signing their draft picks. Yesterday, the team announced that they reached a deal with Chazz Surratt, Wyatt Davis, and Patrick Jones II. We’ve been quick to praise Slick Rick at various points in the offseason because of how he’s handled the salary cap. It still strikes me as being noteworthy that after all this activity Minnesota is in such a great spot financially.

Take a look at how Dustin Baker put it:

Now, another critical factor in this financial equation is the abundance of rookies. Bringing in all that young talent allows the finances to work. Spielman and Brilliant Brze don’t even really have that much to do since the rookie contracts are fairly standard. In 2019, Minnesota made 12 picks. In 2020, the team chose 15 players. During the past draft, Minnesota chose 11 players. That’s 38 rookie contracts, folks. Of course, not everyone made the team, but it still illustrates the broader point: tons of young talent allows the money to work.

If the Minnesota Vikings want to use a little more of the salary cap space, there are options available. Recently, Ali Siddiqui (send in mailbag questions!) offered a few thoughts about adding another DE:

The Chandler Jones option is definitely a long shot, but there are rumors that he wants out of Arizona. He would instantly form one of the most fearsome DE duos with Hunter. Alas, it’s an unlikely scenario for our Minnesota Vikings independent of an extension to lower his salary cap hit in 2021. That said, who really saw the Yannick Ngakoue trade coming? Say what you want about Slick Rick, but the dude doesn’t sit around. He’s continually trying to improve the team.

Apart from DE, there are some intriguing names. K.J. Wright, as commenter Fran recently pointed out, would be an excellent addition to the linebacker group. Geno Atkins has long been rumored to the Vikings given his Cincinnati connection. Larry Fitzgerald seems like he won’t be brought in after Minnesota signed Dede Westbrook, and yet stranger things have happened. Even someone like former-Viking Nick Easton may make sense if Zim is looking for more OL depth.

Regardless of what they decide, we should expect our Minnesota Vikings to use some of that salary cap space. They’ll want to carry some wiggle room into the regular season, though they could easily spend 5+ million and still be in a nice spot. Stay tuned.