The 4 Steps for the Vikings to go from Worst to First in Cap Space
As hard as it is to believe, there is a somewhat realistic path for the Vikings to hop atop the cap space hierarchy. Currently, they find themselves in the 32nd spot for cap room. It’s a reality that could change in a hurry.
I know, I know: all teams can create cap room. Minnesota’s ability to carve out more room is shared by essentially every other team. The point, folks, is simply to reiterate that the cap isn’t nearly as dire as some believe.
At present, Over the Cap has the Chicago Bears atop the NFL in salary cap space. Ryan Poles & Friends are working with a relatively monstrous $35,864,763. It’s nearly $10 million more than the next closest team, the Panthers who are down around $26.5 million in room. The Lions round out the top trio with a mighty $25.9 million in cap room (if we round up a touch).
Scroll to the bottom of the overall list and you’ll find the Vikings, a team sitting on a paltry $1,458,867 in cap space. Nevertheless, the team still has a several moves ahead of them to carve out cap space.
Take a look at four moves that are reasonably likely to occur:
|Total Cap Room Added:||$36,719,788|
Now, what happens when we add that above listed number to the minuscule figure we got from the OTC chart? Well, the Vikings leapfrog the Bears for top spot in the NFL’s cap space list.
The Bears, if you recall, are at $35,864,763. The Vikings – if they completed the four moves in the above chart – would be at $38,178,655. Or, put differently, Minnesota would be in the top spot in the entire NFL.
Any unused cap space after signing their draft picks and some remaining free agents could be carried over into their 2024 budget (which is shaping up to be pretty robust). Not bad, eh?
The crazy thing is that there’s still more that could be done. The likeliest scenario with Danielle Hunter has always been an extension. The veteran successfully transitioned to 3-4 OLB in 2022 and it’s very possible he shines (brightly) in the upcoming season. An extension could clear a touch above $3 million in space.
When we stand back, we can see that Minnesota’s GM is looking at several options for the Vikings. Trades, restructures, and extensions are the likeliest course of action for carving out added room.
After the draft takes place, expect Adofo-Mensah to pursue some of these maneuvers to get his budget in a better spot.
Editor’s Note: Information from Over the Cap helped with this piece.