1 Exception Aside, All Quiet on the Vikings’ Rookie Contract Front

Young Vikings Receiver
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

So far, there’s not too much news emerging when it comes to the Vikings’ rookie contracts. DT Jaquelin Roy is under contract but no one else.

During the draft, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah & Friends brought in a half dozen players. Take a look at a quick refresher:

  • Jordan Addison, WR, 23rd Overall
  • Mekhi Blackmon, CB, 102nd Overall
  • Jay Ward, DB, 134th Overall
  • Jaquelin Roy, DT, 141st Overall
  • Jaren Hall, QB, 164th Overall
  • DeWayne McBride, RB, 222nd Overall
Apr 17, 2021; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Garrett Nussmeier (5) is sacked by LSU Tigers defensive lineman Jaquelin Roy (99) during the second half of the annual Purple and White spring game at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

These six picks – when partnered with Minnesota’s 15 UDFA signings and various FA additions – form the main reason for ongoing optimism about the 2023 season (oh, and a certain DC who is being tasked with a large turnaround). Yes, the young guns will have a role to play when it comes to ensuring Minnesota doesn’t fall too far back from 2022’s stellar 13-4 record.

The Vikings’ Rookies & Their Contracts

As of right now, though, only a single rookie draft pick has put pen to paper. Adofo-Mensah will be looking to ensure there aren’t any unnecessary contract issues lasting into the summer months. Better to get things squared away in a neat and tidy manner.

Purple Headlines
Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; USC wide receiver Jordan Addison poses for a photo on the NFL Draft Red Carpet before the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The most prominent name, of course, is Jordan Addison. The former USC WR was the draft’s 23rd overall selection. Kevin O’Connell clearly has some major plans for incorporating the savvy route runner into the offense early on.

Of all the draft picks, Addison will have the clear-cut largest contract. The deals available to a drafted rookie are quite limited. In essence, there may be some quibbling about some of the wording, but the overall amount paid is fairly plug and chug. He’s estimated to have a cap hit just under $2.5 million (cap room the team doesn’t currently have).

Part of the hold up is cap space, or lack thereof. Signing a low-level deal for Roy is feasible given that 1) it’s not going to cost too much in Year 1 and 2) only the top 51 contracts count toward the total cap allotment during the offseason. Anything below those top 51 deals don’t get factored in at the moment, so deals at a $940,000 or lower hit don’t impact things right now.

Nov 26, 2022; Stanford, California, USA; Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jaren Hall (3) throws during warmups before a game against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Per Over the Cap, the 141st selection was estimated to carry a cap hit of just $835,000. So, nothing has changed for the purple budget by officially welcoming Roy into the fold.

Being able to get the opening pair of draft picks – especially the young WR – under contract will impact the budget. The team can create space by leaning on a Brian O’Neill restructure, T.J. Hockenson extension, Danielle Hunter extension, and/or maybe even some sort of reworked deal for Za’Darius Smith to stick around town.

In other words, Minnesota fans shouldn’t start collecting their nickels and dimes to help out the purple finances. Adofo-Mensah will have the cap room he needs. Just know that some of the rookie contracts can only materialize once a cap-clearing move takes place.

When the inevitable happens and the rookie deals get done, PurplePTSD will be keeping readers well informed.

Editor’s Note: Information from Over the Cap helped with this piece.