Despite not having the greatest salary cap health, the Vikings are getting the most out of their contracts
OverTheCap.com’s Jason Fitzgerald put a dollar value to a team’s on the field performance using a mixture of positional value and Pro Football Focus and their evaluation process. OverTheCap calls it a team’s Overall Value in their Team Valuation metrics.
According to Over The Cap the Vikings are getting a bang for their buck this season, ranking ninth in overall value through week two.
Ranked ahead of them are teams like the Miami Dolphins, Washington Commanders and Indianapolis Colts. The Dolphins are getting their money’s worth out of trio of Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Like the Dolphins, the Commanders and Colts are also getting instant contributions from quarterbacks on their rookie deals.
Minnesota’s top player in overall value is Kirk Cousins, with a value of $43.06M. However, when it comes to players outplaying their contracts, their is the superstar Justin Jefferson, who is making around $3.28M but has an overall value closer to $26.44M. Ivan Pace also is notably on this list for his overall value being closer to $18.97M and making less than $1M this season.
The contract detais are revealed and they are sizable
The Minnesota Vikings pulled the trigger and signed guard Dalton Risner to a contract on Monday afternoon. What wasn’t released at the time of the announcement were the details of the contract.
According to 9Sports’ Mike Klis, the Vikings gave Risner a one-year deal worth up to $4 million with a guaranteed $2.25 million.
Money was likely why Risner didn’t sign back when he visited in August. Another potential reason was the ability to be a starter. Giving him up to $4 million says that they want him to potentially be a starter.
ESPN’s Kevin Seifert echoed that same sentiment.
Confirming the Vikings have agreed to terms with G Dalton Risner.
We'll see what happens this week, but I doubt they're bringing him here to be a backup.
The Vikings get some breathing room on the salary cap
Right before the beginning of the 2023 season on Saturday, the Minnesota Vikings restructured the contract of right tackle Brian O’Neill. The move was reported by ESPN’s Field Yates.
The move for the Vikings ended up saving them $9.99 million on the salary cap in 2023. O’Neill was the ideal candidate for this to happen, as his contract is likely to see its end after the 2027 season.
Making this move right before the season is done to give a team salary cap space for in season moves. Per game roster bonuses don’t hit the salary cap until they are earned, which need salary cap space. It’s the same thing that the Vikings dealt with last season with Za’Darius Smith.
The other element at play here is contract extensions. The Vikings were trying to get one done with Justin Jefferson and ended up getting one done with Josh Metellus.
It’s not likely that the Vikings made this move to sign someone from the outside, but it’s also not an impossibility.
Both sides had hoped they would get a deal done, but it’s not likely at this point
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that despite efforts from both sides, superstar wide receiver Justin Jefferson is not expected to sign a contract extension before Sunday’s opener.
As the Minnesota Vikings get closer to this game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, both franchises declined to sign their primary wide receivers to extensions before the first game of the season. The situation in Minnesota looks to be farther along than the situation in Tampa.
Jefferson has become one of the more prolific wide receivers in Minnesota history. Given the names that have caught the football for the purple and gold, that is high praise. Jefferson ranks first in yards (4825) and yards per game (96.5) in the first three years as a Vikings receiver, eclipsing Randy Moss’ 4163 yards and 86.7 yards per game.
Schefter reported that both sides made a strong effort to get a deal done but will revisit the matter after the 2023 season.
Hard work gets rewarded when you play for the Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings have agreed to a two-year contract extension with safety Josh Metellus. The deal is worth up to $13 million with $6 million guaranteed and was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The extension was interesting on multiple levels. The Vikings restructured the contract of Harrison Smith this offseason, essentially marking his exit after the season.
The coaching staff has also spoken incredibly highly of Metellus all offseason, who has earned the role if big nickel defenders.
"A guy who loves football, who's smart and can play a few different positions. Good in the kicking game, just an overall good football player." – Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores on Josh Metellus. pic.twitter.com/DQCR9VzHXd
Going into week one, the Vikings were projected to sign an extension with Justin Jefferson and that could still happen, but Metellus gets an extension first. Signing a player selected in the sixth round is both great for the player but also shows the rest of the league that development gets rewarded.
Jefferson’s contract extension likely got more expensive on Wednesday
The Minnesota Vikings are looking to extend superstar wide receiver Justin Jefferson and things got a little more difficult on Wednesday. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the San Francisco 49ers signed edge rusher Nick Bosa to a five-year, $170 million extension with $122.5 million guaranteed.
That extension gives Bosa an average of $34 million per season, making him the highest-paid non-quarterback in the National Football League.
The path to getting an extension done with Jefferson is more difficult because of Bosa’s contract. The most money for a wide receiver is with Tyreek Hill at $30 million per season. The last year of that contract is unlikely to be played out at it’s current number. Davante Adams got $28.5 million per season the same offseason.
Those numbers were already expected to be surpassed, but exceeding Bosa’s $34 million will be an expensive and unprecedented contract for a wide receiver.
General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will have a tough negotiation get even tougher with this contract.
Two weeks ago, when I was in Minnesota, I asked Justin Jefferson about the status of his deal. He had no updates for me, saying he, “doesn’t like to discuss his business.” Fair. However, he did say it with a huge smile, probably because he knows this team has been motivated to get it done.
Jefferson has practiced all of training camp, trusting the team will give him a contract that could make him the highest-paid non-QB player in the league. (I’m sure Bosa and Jones also hope to take the title.) Good news for Kirk Cousins, I learned there are no concerns that if a deal isn’t reached Jefferson would miss games. Based on my conversations, this is looking to be a contract that will be announced (and celebrated) very soon.
This is something that has been opined about for months. Jefferson is the best wide receiver in the National Football League and voted in multiple polls the best non-quarterback as well.
I predicted his contract extension would be a three-year, $96 million deal due to multiple wide receivers choosing to take shorter-term deals so they can get another bite at the apple before they turn 30.
If the Vikings get it done with Jefferson, they will have their top two weapons signed for the long-term and it will shape the future of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s vision for the future.
Void years are a relatively new practice by NFL front offices. The idea is that you can add void years to spread out salary cap hits down the line. Yes, you have to pay the piper eventually and take those cap hits. However, using them to maneuver and create windows of opportunity for your team.
The best way to utilize void years is to convert base salary that you are scheduled to pay a player and spread it out over multiple seasons. The Vikings have done that multiple times, most recently with quarterback Kirk Cousins.
In terms of Hockenson’s contract, the void year is on there to help potential bonus conversions down the line. It doesn’t change any part of his contract extension. The cap hits remain the same, but the flexibility is something that Kwesi Adofo-Mensah prioritizes and he gets to retain it.
All the details you need to know about T.J. Hockenson’s contract extension are right here
This offseason, the Minnesota Vikings knew they needed to get some contract extensions in place and they did so with T.J. Hockenson on Thursday morning.
The future of the Vikings has looked to be rooted in both Hockenson and Justin Jefferson over the next few years and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah made sure that was the case. This was the first contract extension given out over his first 19 months as Vikings general manager that was more than two years.
What does the contract look like and how does it impact the Vikings long term? Let’s break it down piece by piece with details from Over The Cap.