Salary cap space
As of March 17, 2021, the Vikings are projected to be $6,066,418 over the 2021 cap.
The Vikings rolled over $4.5 million in 2020 cap space.
March 10 update: The salary cap has been set at $182.5 million.
The Minnesota Vikings fell short of what they likely wanted to accomplish in the 2020 season as they fell short of the playoffs. Minnesota finished 7-9 and lost three straight games down the stretch to fall out of contention.
Heading into the 2021 offseason, the Vikings are in the negatives when it comes to cap space, and they figure to be not so active in the spring and summer months as they gear up for another NFL season.
The NFL powered though its 2020 season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The league played without fans in most stadiums, and limited fans in a handful of locations. The decrease in gate revenue is going to result in a decrease in money shared between the 32 teams. This in turn means the salary cap is expected to decrease. The NFL and NFLPA agreed to a salary cap of no lower than $175 million. The latest report has the number landing between $180 and $181 million, which is a good bit lower than the $198.2 million of this past season. This will result in some tough choices for many teams.
All salary cap information below comes courtesy of the NFLPA Public Salary Cap Report.
Safety Anthony Harris was the highest paid player on the defensive side of the ball last season for Minnesota with a $11,441,000 base salary on the franchise tag. It will be interesting to see what the market says about Harris as he did not have as good of a season in 2020 than he did in 2019. At this point, it might make more sense for the Vikings to move on with other options that will likely have a much cheaper price tag.
One reason Minnesota can move on from Harris without a significant panic is the Vikings also have Harrison Smith at the safety position. He is set to make $9,850,000 in 2021, though he is scheduled to be a free agent in 2022. None of his money is guaranteed this season and he’s 31 years old, so Minnesota could have some options in deciding what to do at its safety spots.
In addition to figuring out safety, the Vikings will have some questions to answer at linebacker. Eric Wilson is set to be a free agent this offseason, and he had a base salary of $3,259,000 in 2020. He played a big role with injuries at the position for Minnesota. Anthony Barr just finished his second season of a five-year contract, but none of it is guaranteed the next three seasons. Set to make $12,300,000 in 2021, it feels like the Vikings will need to choose between Wilson and Barr or restructure Barr’s current deal.