With running back Chester Taylor jumping from the Vikings to the Bears, Minnesota has now secured the ability under the Final Eight Plan to sign one unrestricted free agent.
In this context, an unrestricted free agent is a player with six or more years of service whose contract has expired.
But it doesn’t mean that the Vikings can jump into the Julius Peppers derby. They are limited to the first-year salary paid to Taylor, with 30 percent annual growth.
The actual money available to the Vikings will depend on the structure of the four-year, $12.5 million deal that Taylor signed. The smaller the first-year salary (and the term is defined broadly to include base salary, roster bonuses, signing bonus proration, etc.), the less wiggle room the Vikings will have.
Regardless, the Vikings now have the ability to jump into the free agency pool, and to emerge with one fish.