Vikings facing cap issues in 2020, too

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The Vikings have become one of the few teams to push the envelope in cash and cap space in pursuit of a Super Bowl win. And the envelope-pushing will continue beyond 2019.

Via Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Vikings have $211.638 million in cap charges for 2020. Unless the salary cap skyrockets from $188.2 million this year by more than $23 million next year, the Vikings will have to trim layers of fat.

The prime candidates whose contracts for 2020 won’t be prime rib for the Vikings include tackle Riley Reiff, defensive end Everson Griffen, defensive tackle Linval Joseph, and cornerback Xavier Rhodes. As Goessling points out, each will be at least 30 next year, and each will have cap numbers of at least $12.9 million.

Of course, another player with those same two factors — 30 or older and cap number of $12.9 million or higher — is quarterback Kirk Cousins. His cap number moves to $31 million in 2020, fueled by a fully-guaranteed salary of $29.5 million. If the Vikings decide after two years that they’re not interested in going beyond three years with Cousins, the Vikings could explore a potential trade partner for Cousins, even if it means eating a portion of his contract.

And the Vikings may, depending on what happens in San Francisco this year with Jimmy Garoppolo, find that trade partner in Kyle Shanahan, who served as Washington offensive coordinator in 2012 when Cousins was drafted and who had been regarded as a serious Cousins suitor before the decision to trade for and then to sign Garoppolo to a five-year deal that pays out, on average, $27.5 million per year.

If the 49ers decide after 2019 that they no longer want to keep Garoppolo, they can move on at no cost — and with a paltry cap charge of $4.2 million.

Of course, the Vikings would still need a quarterback for 2020, but if they decide after 2019 that Cousins isn’t the answer, finding a replacement becomes secondary to shedding nearly $30 million from the cap burden in one fell swoop.

64 responses to “Vikings facing cap issues in 2020, too

  1. Here we go with “the Vikings have cap issues” again. There are so many factors that could change between now and then it’s silly to even consider this an issue at this point.

  2. They have one of the best ever contract guys, so no problems going forward. Griffen, Waynes, and possibly Rhodes will all be gone next year, so cap space will be fine.

  3. I’ll never understand why fans of teams celebrate having cap space. Basically, those people are hoping their team does something. I credit teams like the Vikings, Patriots, Saints, Rams and maybe even my Packers now after a ton of wasted years under Ted Thompson. Those teams spend the bulk of their allotted money and navigate the cap wisely.

  4. These are about as relevant as the mock drafts that come out a year in advance, way too many variables between now and then to put much stock in stories like this.

  5. Reiff gone, good riddance. Griffin & Rhodes already have their replacements ready to go. Hopefully they restructure. Linval would be missed the most.

  6. You do understand that the Vikings can’t cut him and save $31 million? And if I am not mistaken, I believe he had a no trade clause in his contract.

  7. I believe this is the first time since Tarkington that the Vikings have the same starting QB, 2 years in a row for game 1 (should Cousins survive pre-season).

    They DO have cap issues because the team they have isn’t getting it done and it costs $$ to get better. There’s not enough space to really move the needle.

  8. I also would like to know where are the stories on the Jag, Bears and Eagles being over the 2020 cap.

  9. Andrew Teal says:
    June 15, 2019 at 5:36 pm
    I believe this is the first time since Tarkington that the Vikings have the same starting QB, 2 years in a row for game 1 (should Cousins survive pre-season).
    They DO have cap issues because the team they have isn’t getting it done and it costs $$ to get better. There’s not enough space to really move the needle.
    Not quite… Off the top of my head I can remember Culpepper, Favre, unfortunately Ponder from 12-13 I believe, Tommy Kramer, and Wade Wilson. Not a murder’s row of qbs but yeah they have not changed every year since Tarkenton.

  10. Ownership willing to spend money on their home grown talent plus hiring experts to manage that talent is a good problem to have. Unlike the bureaucracy of unaccountability to the east that kowtows to a diva QB before worrying what’s best for the team.

  11. Vikings fans do not care about cap our team has done a magnificent job so far.
    All we want is that first Super Bowl in February 2020!! First times happen and it’s our time 2020!!!

  12. The Vikings could have kept Case Keenum for a fraction of Cousins’ salary. Now they are going to be in cap hell with nothing to show for.

  13. Same old media scares about needing to cut. Griffen is $13 million saved in 2020. All 4 mentioned will either play well enough to be paid, restructured or cut.
    And Cousins…if a winner, an extension that drops the 2020 salary hit. If not, either traded or one last year.
    I’d be more concerned about my team if they had $20 million plus of dead money…those are the bad front offices.

  14. This is exactly what you reap when you overpay for all of your own mediocre talent.

    The Vikings have done it for years and it’s exactly why they were so hamstrung this past offseason, and it’s why they will continue to be so, at least for the foreseeable future.
    Eventually all of the carried over dead money will cause this team to collapse upon itself, and then a long and painful rebuilding process will begin.

    Some will say if the a team’s good enough and you can win a championship, then perhaps it’s ultimately worth it.
    But let’s face facts, the Minnesota Vikings are nowhere near that kind of team.
    No, their garbage roster consists pure 8-7-1 talent (1-6 against teams with a .500 record or better.)
    Who’s run by a clueless coaching staff that has never accomplished close to anything with the brief exception of the Minneapolis Missed Tackle Miracle.

    Their ignorant fan base will continue to tell you that everything is alright, though you can barely hear them with their collective heads so firmly stuck in the sand.

  15. This is a good problem to have because it usually means the team has paid to keep its own good players. Obviously teams with garbage rosters don’t have these cap problems.

  16. raptorman 27. Bears and Jags over are the cap for 2020. Eagles are under the cap. Check your facts sparky.

  17. ARod(in his collarbone) says:
    June 15, 2019 at 5:25 pm
    They have one of the best ever contract guys, so no problems going forward. Griffen, Waynes, and possibly Rhodes will all be gone next year, so cap space will be fine.
    He’s one of many that are good at it. There are plenty of guys doing this well for other organizations, but since it’s the Vikings and Minnesota fans don’t know much about what goes on in the rest of the NFL, he’s the greatest. Most fans couldn’t tell you who the cap guys are for other teams anyway. Signing guys to extensions isn’t any kind of genius. The Vikings do have more talent than most teams that they want to keep; however, it’s puzzling how you can have all of this talent and still consider your head coach to be “great” when he leads all of that talent to 8-7-1.

  18. The point being made is the team is spending all they can in making a run at a SB. That’s different

  19. s1dew1nder1 says:
    June 15, 2019 at 7:18 pm
    raptorman 27. Bears and Jags over are the cap for 2020. Eagles are under the cap. Check your facts sparky.
    It doesn’t matter who is over the cap for 2020 right now because things change. Plus, that number for the Bears of over the cap is for a total of 68 players under contract now. That obviously won’t be the case when the season starts in 2019 or 2020.

  20. The Jags are in worse shape, 2020 cap space wise. The Bears are in about the same situation. With restructuring allowed to kick the cap down the road, this really isn’t a fatal problem. All this means is the big deals to add players is limited. If all three of these cap strapped teams don’t start out well, expect moves quickly to address the huge salaries being carried.

  21. “First Super Bowl in February 2020. It’s our time”


    Did you type this from your folding chair on the parade route?

    And then you wonder why every fan base in the NFL calls you irrelevant, the only emotion you have ever brought anyone is laughter.

    At least you will always have that annual summer parade.

    Poor Barney

  22. patsfan4lifesbchamps:
    Keenum‘s salary would have been 18 million (which is what the Broncos paid him & then cut him a year later when he didn’t work out). Not sure what kind of fraction you’re talking about?

  23. I did t realize Mike Florio authored Chicken Little!
    Oh “the sky is falling! The sky is falling!”

    As Florio’s favorite cheddar loving QB once spoke…”R-E-L-A-X”
    It’s a year away and LOTS and LOTS of things will happen between then and now

  24. Unlike the bureaucracy of unaccountability to the east that kowtows to a diva QB before worrying what’s best for the team.
    When all else fails, lash out at the Pack. Our “bureaucracy of unaccountability” has netted us a SB win and 8 straight years of postseason play. You’d trade that for one playoff win since Favre retired? I wouldn’t.

  25. The packer troll mocking someone for being overly optimistic, that’s hilarious. Not like using 100 emojis and calling Allen Lazard a stud isn’t insane homerism.

  26. Big deal, focus on 2019 and next year will focus on player who perform and want to be valuable to this team in 2020.

  27. mediasloppy says:
    June 15, 2019 at 5:10 pm
    Just get back to this a year from now. I spent the last year hearing about cap space and in the end, everything has worked out thus far.


    The Vikings had to be the most disappointing team last year. They went from the NFC championship to missing the playoffs but yea it is working out.

  28. it’s fun watching Vikings fans delude themselves into believing they don’t have cap problems and/or that they are winning a SB any time soon.

    I guess six playoff appearances in 18 years counts for something in SKOL land. The only fans who are jealous of that track record live in Oakland, Buffalo, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Detroit.

  29. Frazier28/7 says:
    June 15, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    world class organization problems

    Nope. More like 8-7-1 organization problems.
    With the weight of serious cap implications too.

  30. Neither is the answer. Cousins is average at best – yet the Vikings paid it because the media said he was a hot prospect. Great move. SKOL!

    JG isn’t any better. Two years ago he took a losing team (and by losing I mean that lost by slim margins) and suddenly became a starter and his numbers are…average at best. Why do people still do this?

  31. My favorite recent argument here was that Cousins had an average team around him. You know, a team that made the NFC Championship Game the year before. Cousins was supposed to be the piece that got them over the top. Yet all we heard was excuses for him. He’s nothing but average at best. And he’s paid like an elite QB.

  32. Vikings are currently $12,151,921 over the cap for 2020 with the current roster, minus guys whose contracts expire (Trae Waynes, Mackenzie Alexander, and Anthony Harris who are all starters in the secondary. All other players are under contract and fit within the cap if they parted ways with Joseph (replaced by Jaleel Johnson), Griffen (Stephen Weatherly), Rhodes (Mike Hughes), and Reiff (Aviante Collis), leaving $4,000,000 in cap space. The only one of those replacements not under contract in 2020 is Stephen Weatherly, who the Vikings are working on an extension now.

    As far as the lost of Waynes, Alexander and Harris go, the Vikings drafted Epps to replace Harris, have Holton Hill to replace Waynes. The holes needed to fill in the draft would most likely be cb/nickel, safety, OT, and depth.

    None of that is really a cap issue. So long as the guys they have drafted/developed continue to develop, it appear the Vikings will be able to keep the talent they have accumulated on this team. It is easily one of the most talented teams in the league. If the OL is truly improved over last year, they should be right back in the playoffs this year and again next year. Yes there will be some tough decisions, but every team has to look at replacing 30 years stars with younger players they have developed.

  33. Everyone knows this is the last year for Griffen and that cut alone puts the Vikings back into black. Please stop writing stuff just to write stuff. By the way, Ben Goessling is the worst beat writer ever to grace Minnesota sports, the guy can’t keep a writing job in the same place for more than two years.

  34. If Cousins needs to be traded after 2020, not a single team in the league is trading for that number on a return of that performance for a single year remaining on the deal.

  35. It’s one thing to support your team no matter what. I very much respect that in a fan base.

    That isn’t what Vikings fans do.

    No, Vikings fans have claimed they are the most talented team in the NFL and going to win the Super Bowl every offseason since 1961.

    After nearly 60 years of summer Super Bowl parades and offseason trophies, you have lost any respect you may have had say 50 or so years ago.

    Try to be more like the great Chuck Foreman and fully support and try to motivate the team. Say you like some of the young talent that may have the team on the rise in a few years.

    Don’t just troll and claim you are something that you will never be.

    Your jealousy of the Packers and their fans is way past played out. Find something new to cry about or just shut up altogether.

  36. chawk12thman says:
    June 15, 2019 at 7:23 pm
    The point being made is the team is spending all they can in making a run at a SB. That’s different.
    But you have to be in the playoffs before you can make a run at the Super Bowl.

    Based on your point, the Jets, Browns and Lions could spend all of their cap space by claiming they are making a run at a Super Bowl while going 6-10 every year.
    That’s laughable.

  37. Griffen is likely playing his final season as a Viking. Rieff and Rhodes need to step up their game this season or they’ll be gone as well.

    As for Cousins, it’s all about results. If he can improve his footwork and learn to avoid the pass rush, the Vikings can win their division; otherwise they’ll be willing to take any offer to unload the final year of that contract.

  38. How about the Vikings draft a really good YOUNG qb in the 1st round so you have them for 5 years? Duh. Once the new players deal is done n 2020 or beyond I doubt you’ll be able the keep your 1st round picks for 5 years. Bottom line is the Vikings don’t know how to draft wisely.

  39. A couple years ago, the Vikings’ defense was dominant at all three levels. On offense, they had Cook, Diggs, Thielen, Rudolph, and a few other pieces. They spent like mad dogs to beef up the O-line and they made a serious run at it, going to the NFCCG. Then they signed Cousins as “the one missing piece” and for whatever reason, they came out flat last year. They “loaded up to make a run” and they missed, but it’s not nearly over.

    This year, they extended guys they feel can “get them there” in the next couple years, making it obvious who will be cut next year. They’ve “reloaded to make another run(s)” but there is a limited window there. Many of the guys they just extended won’t get another contract in MN, IF they’re with the team to play out their entire current deals. That’s just life in the NFL. If young talent develops, they can still be alright. If not, especially on the O-line, they’re going to be in trouble rather soon. That too is just life in the NFL.

  40. The Almighty Cabbage says:
    June 16, 2019 at 9:43 am
    They spent like mad dogs to beef up the O-line and they made a serious run at it,

    Unlike the Packers this offseason spending like mad dogs to beef up their pass rush just to get to .500

  41. 2019 will mark the 59th straight year MN has won nothing. We all know that’s going to be true as we all know extending that pathetic streak to 60 years is a done deal as well.

    MN will go into full rebuild mode next off season. The “franchise” QB will be gone and with him the coach and GM who are all attached at the hip.

    They will then try to suck for Trevor Lawrence but will win a game they weren’t supposed to and end up with Christian Ponder’s little brother or Dainty Fumblepepper’s cousin from SW Eastern South Carolina and all in MN will dub him the next coming of Wade Wilson.

    This is this regimes last shot, and it doesn’t look good.

  42. Even if they loose every game they’ll still be my team. The Vikings will be much better this year.

  43. Reiff and Griffen will be released and that will free up over $20 million. Reiff is not a big loss at all. They’ll just draft his replacement next year, even though they should have this year. Griffen’s replacements are already in place. The cap will go up another $10 million.

    they’re not in cap trouble at all, even with the ridiculous josh kline contract. absolutely ridiculous! that money should have gone to one of the 2020 pending free agents like harris, kearse, morgan, bowers, weatherly, or alexander.

    Linval Joeseph will likely be asked to restructure just to free up more space to sign teammates whom will be unrestricted free agents. they are going to lose some free agents. They have way too many to sign. All have potential for compensatory draft picks if they leave.

    the only thing they won’t be able to do is bring in free agents, which is overrated and a waste of money anyways.

  44. I am in favor of the salary cap in general but I wish there was a way for teams to go over the cap for players they drafted or have been with the team for a certain amount of time (3 or 4 years or more). The Vikings drafted most of their defense and a good portion of their offense but they (like every other team who drafts well) won’t be able to keep their best guys because of the salary cap. Thoughts PFT?

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