The Vikings could have paid Adrian Peterson $18 million this year. Instead, they’ll pay Latavius Murray as little as $3.4 million this year.
That’s the only true guarantee at signing for the newest running back in Minnesota, and the minimum he’ll earn this year. He’s eligible for a $100,000 workout bonus, and he’ll earn up to $750,000 in per-game roster bonuses, with $46,875 tied to each game in which he’s on the 46-man active roster.
Another $1.1 million of his base salary is guaranteed for injury only at the time of signing. The full $5.15 million in salary that he’s due to make in 2018 becomes fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2018 league year, giving the Vikings a clear opportunity to decide whether to extend Murray’s stay from one year to two.
The total value of the three-year contract (including up to $1.75 million in total per-game roster bonuses) is $15 million. He has a significant incentive and escalator package tied to rushing yards and Pro Bowl qualification.
Ultimately, it’s a low-risk deal for the Vikings that carries a decent upside for Murray. And it gives them a tailback who will be a lot more affordable than either what Peterson was due to make or what he expects to make in 2017.