The Vikings’ 2024 Budget Can Still Explode

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Minnesota Vikings
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

What happens if the extension fuse gets lit? The Vikings’ 2024 budget is going to explode.

So far, GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has put in a ton of work welcoming in new talent. And while there have been some cost-saving moves — the restructured Harrison Smith contract, cutting Dean Lowry, cutting Alexander Mattison — Minnesota could still carve out a ton of cap room if they lean into their extension options.

The Vikings’ 2024 Budget Can Still Explode

Most of the NFL’s best free agents have agreed to contracts.

The Vikings snagged at least one these players, sending over a 4-year agreement worth a total of $76 million for edge rusher Jonathan Greenard. But then there were several other impact deals, most notably for edge rusher Andrew Van Ginkel, quarterback Sam Darnold, running back Aaron Jones, linebacker Blake Cashman, and corner Shaquill Griffin.

NFL: Combine
Feb 27, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah talks to the media at the 2024 NFL Combine at Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The folks at Over the Cap are still tracking down some of the precise details for Minnesota’s free agent decisions, so there’s some fuzziness about the exact number when it comes to the Vikings’ open cap space.

And don’t forget about the upcoming NFL Draft, an event that will kick over several players who will take a portion out of the budget. So, the cap room in Minnesota is in flux.

2023 NFL Draft
Apr 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys on the clock in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

What is clear on OTC, though, is that arriving at extensions for several key players could toss more 2024 cap room in Minnesota’s direction. Take a look:

Player2024 Cap HitPossible Savings in 2024 w/ Extensions
Bynum, Camryn$3,295,453$1,648,800
Jefferson, Justin$19,743,000$14,894,400
Murphy, Byron$10,911,765$6,380,000
Phillips, Harrison$8,833,334$4,300,000

Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, Minnesota thinks that pushing things to the max for 2024 savings is the best way to go. Extensions arrive for all four players. The Vikings could toss more than $27 million back into the GM’s budget.

Dec 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) celebrates his touchdown against the Detroit Lions during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Something that makes the NFL a bit unique is that cap space can carryover to the next season. So, Minnesota could open that cap room and use it on a free agent, their draft picks, and maybe even a trade acquisition. Crucially, whatever doesn’t get used will get tossed onto the pile for the 2025 budget.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah tends to take things a step at a time. Last offseason, he extended T.J. Hockenson and Josh Metellus in late August/early September. The Danielle Hunter resolution only arrived in training camp. In other words, extensions aren’t necessarily going to arrive today, tomorrow, or even ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft (though the option is there if that’s the desire for all parties).

And while Minnesota isn’t a league leader for cap space at present, there are options aplenty to ratchet up the cap space in 2024 if there’s a need.

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

K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.