An Unusual Financial Detail Defining Minnesota’s Future Salary Cap

New Minnesota Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has certainly taken a unique approach to the offseason. Most expected him to either rebuild or aggressively bring in talent. Rather than do either of these things, KAM has opted for a much more methodical, patient approach.

When I was poking around Over the Cap, I noticed something pretty unusual about the Vikings’ future finances. If you hop over to 2024, you’ll see that the Vikings have an unusually high amount of financial flexibility.

Nineteen players are on the roster in two years; only one has guaranteed money still on his deal. Every other player takes a goose egg in the guaranteed salary portion of things. Only first-round pick Christian Darrisaw has any guarantees listed.

Now, a few details to clarify matters. Kirk Cousins is listed as one of the players, but his deal includes a void year for 2024. In other words, his $12.5 million hit will count against the cap but he won’t be playing for the team (unless there is yet another extension). Danielle Hunter is also there due to a void year. Moreover, Justin Jefferson isn’t among the players since his fifth-year option hasn’t been picked up yet, but he’s a 99.99% lock to be there. Players like Cameron Dantzler, K.J. Osborn, and Ezra Cleveland are also contenders to be included.

Nevertheless, the broader points remains: the Minnesota Vikings have a startlingly low amount of guarantees on their 2024 budget. The team thus has an incredible amount of flexibility coming down the pipe.

Players like Adam Thielen, Za’Darius Smith, Dalvin Cook, Danielle Hunter, and Harrison Smith all show up on the list; none of them have guaranteed money. In all likelihood, the team will be looking to move on from several. Doing so would leave behind some dead money, though significantly less than if they all still had tons of guarantees.

The end result, then, is another glimpse into Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s plan for Minnesota. The team is going for it all in 2022, but similarly lackluster performances would mean a full rebuild by 2024.