The lack of a new collective bargaining agreement makes it uncertain exactly how many restricted and unrestricted free agents the Vikings will have when the free-agency period does start. Under the terms of the CBA before last year, players became unrestricted after four years. Last season, in an uncapped year, it went to six years of service before a player was unrestricted. Here's a look at the Vikings who are set to hit free agency in some way, shape or form whenever a new CBA is in place.
UNRESTRICTED REGARDLESS (8 PLAYERS)
• QB Brett Favre, 20 seasons (plans to retire)
• NT Pat Williams, 14
• K Ryan Longwell, 14
• LB Ben Leber, nine
• QB Patrick Ramsey, nine
• CB Lito Sheppard, nine
• WR Greg Lewis, eight
• CB Frank Walker, eight
COULD BE UNRESTRICTED OR RESTRICTED (10)
• WR Hank Baskett, five seasons
• DE Ray Edwards, five
• DT Fred Evans, five
• OL Ryan Cook, five
• QB Tarvaris Jackson, five
• LB Chad Greenway, five (received franchise tag)
• FB Naufahu Tahi, five
• S Eric Frampton, four
• WR Sidney Rice, four
• DE Brian Robison, four
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (2)
• S Husain Abdullah, three years
• LB Erin Henderson, three
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS (2)
(Under uncapped rules, these players have no negotiating rights and can sign only the offered tender with their current team.)
• WR Jaymar Johnson, two (re-signed)
• RB Albert Young, two
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
(At least under the soon-to-expire CBA)
Unrestricted free agents: Players are free to negotiate and sign with any team
Restricted free agents: Under uncapped rules, players with four and five years of accrued NFL experience whose teams still have right of first refusal, meaning they can match any offer sheet or receive draft pick compensation based on the players' tender levels.
Restricted free-agent tenders: The Vikings have right of first refusal, meaning they can match any offer sheet from another team. If they choose not to match, they receive a draft pick that corresponds with the player's tender level.