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Minnesota has an interesting roster makeup at the moment.
The Vikings have plenty of young talent like Justin Jefferson, Irv Smith Jr. and Cameron Dantzler. The team also has older veterans. In regards to the veterans, the Vikings have some financial decisions to make.
Minnesota might have to let go of a few key contributors from the Mike Zimmer era. But if they want to stick around, there’s a possibility that those players could restructure their deals.
LT Riley Reiff is a candidate to restructure, but he’s not on this list. His contract is pretty fair, based on his level of play in 2020. That said, the Vikings might not be able to afford him.
Here are a few names who might need to come back on cheaper deals for 2021:
S Harrison Smith
Photo: Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports
Smith is only signed through the 2021 season and Minnesota incurs zero dead money if the team makes a pre-June 1 cut decision. However, the Vikings should try and keep him around, especially with the chance that Anthony Harris could go elsewhere this offseason.
LB Anthony Barr
Photo: Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota may have to choose between Barr or Wilson this offseason. Even if the Vikings decide on keeping Barr and letting Wilson walk, the team may have to restructure. Barr's cap hit for 2021 will be more than $15 million, per Over The Cap. Then, his contract goes up to $15.6 million in 2022. It jumps up to $18.1 million the following season, via Over The Cap. Barr is a good linebacker, as evidenced by how bad the defense was in his absence. That said, I'm not sure he warrants such a large contract.
QB Kirk Cousins
Photo: Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports
Cousins naysayers are not going to like this. Minnesota is in the midst of another cash-strapped offseason. Their starting quarterback has a cap hit of $31 million this offseason, per Over The Cap. Want to know how the Vikings could make that go down? By extending him for more years and lowering his cap hit for the short-term, similar to the move they did last offseason. It seems like an obvious avenue to open up space.
TE Kyle Rudolph
Photo: Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports
I don't see a realistic scenario where the Vikings keep Rudolph and they don't restructure. His cap hit is over $9.4 million, per Over The Cap. There's an argument to be made that Minnesota should go with Irv Smith Jr. and Tyler Conklin at tight end next season. If Rudolph wants to stick around, though, and the Vikings want to keep him, I think the team would pretty much have to restructure. He could also be a cap casualty this offseason.