Hartman: Vikings have room to work with under salary cap

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 15, 2014 - 11:17 PM
hide

Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel handed off to running back Matt Asiata during the 2013 season finale against Detroit at the Metrodome. They are two of the 16 free agents from last season that the Vikings will need to address in the coming weeks.

Photo: ELIZABETH FLORES • eflores@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The Vikings have 54 players under contract for the 2014 NFL season. The combined salaries of those players sits at $103 million. ESPN.com reported this past week that that total means the Vikings will have the fourth-most cap space of any club next season.

The salary cap is expected to be somewhere near $126 million next year so the Vikings at present would have about $23 million under the cap to spend in free agency.

So the club is in good shape financially to sign the free agents it wants back.

General Manager Rick Spielman has made it apparent that the team wants to re-sign a number of its free agents. Those free agents are cornerback Chris Cook; quarterback Matt Cassel; defensive linemen Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, Everson Griffen and Fred Evans; running backs Toby Gerhart and Matt Asiata; wide receivers Joe Webb and Jerome Simpson; linebackers Larry Dean and Marvin Mitchell; offensive linemen Joe Berger and J’Marcus Webb; and linebacker Desmond Bishop. Quarterback Josh Freeman is also a free agent, but it’s fairly certain he will not be retained.

This year, NFL free agency begins with a three-day window when teams may sign their own free agents and also negotiate with unrestricted free agents from other clubs. That will begin March 8. Regular free agency will open March 11.

Spielman said at his news conference last week that the team not only will try to sign free agents from other clubs, but it will keep an eye on what players get cut because of salary-cap limitations.

“Guys that are potentially going to be out there that may have a high cap number or may be potentially on the trading block because he may have a high cap number, they might try to cut him, they might restructure his deal,” Spielman said. “So we go through every team’s contract with each player and see if they are performing to that level, of where that contract comes into play, are they playing to that contract or not, and if they are not, we will put him on that list.”

Gophers aim for Badgers

I get the same question many times when the Gophers face Wisconsin, especially in basketball and football. Gophers fans can’t understand why the Badgers are so successful when it comes to competing against the Gophers in the two sports.

The Gophers’ 78-70 loss at Wisconsin on Thursday was not a big surprise, as the Badgers were 9½-point favorites and had beaten the Gophers 11 out of the past 12 games dating to 2000 at the Kohl Center, and 15 out of 16 overall in Madison.

But you can’t look at the Badgers’ overall success in football and basketball without imagining that the Gophers athletic department is hoping to reach Wisconsin’s heights soon.

Since Bo Ryan arrived in 2001, Wisconsin men’s basketball is 311-118 with three Big Ten regular-season titles and two tournament titles. The Badgers have reached the NCAA tournament every year, the Sweet 16 five times and the Elite Eight once.

The Gophers have a chance of reaching the NCAA tournament again this year, but they haven’t made a deep run in the tournament since their 1997 Big Ten championship and Final Four season under Clem Haskins, which was later vacated.

In football, the Badgers have reached six Rose Bowls since 1993, including three in a row from 2011 to ’13. The Gophers, as has often been noted, haven’t won the Big Ten since 1967.

Some of this can be tied to sports revenue. According to USA Today, the Badgers brought in $103 million in revenue in 2012 while the Gophers brought in $83 million.

Fregosi was saved

I don’t recall the year, but sometime in the 1960s when Bill Rigney managed the California Angels, I got a call from him regarding a foot injury Jim Fregosi had. It was serious enough that it was going to end the career of the great shortstop.

Rigney said Fregosi had contacted many doctors in the Los Angeles area, and none of them had any idea how to fix the problem. Rigney said he was going to fly Fregosi into the Twin Cities and asked if I would drive him to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester in hopes that the one of the doctors there would have a solution.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
New Orleans 99
Minnesota 84 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
Orlando 94 FINAL
Memphis 103
Boston 99 FINAL
Utah 90
Denver 98 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Army 68 FINAL
American Univ 66
Wright State 64 FINAL
Detroit 53
Syracuse 83 FINAL
North Carolina 93
Cleveland State 56 FINAL
Oakland 59
Delaware State 54 FINAL
NC Central 55
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 45 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 42
Coppin State 84 FINAL
NC A&T 71
Nicholls 51 FINAL
Northwestern St 80
Hampton 56 FINAL
SC State 65
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Stephen F Austin 82 FINAL
Lamar 65
Central Arkansas 67 FINAL
New Orleans 87
Norfolk State 70 FINAL
Savannah State 54
TX A&M-CC 70 FINAL
SE Louisiana 61
Sam Houston St 80 FINAL
Abilene Christian 63
McNeese State 84 FINAL
Incarnate Word 86
Milwaukee 48 FINAL
Valparaiso 73
Alcorn State 66 FINAL
Alabama A&M 78
Southern U 59 FINAL
Alabama State 63
Prairie View 68 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 105
Texas 86 FINAL
Iowa State 89
Texas Southern 85 FINAL
Miss Valley St 84
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 61 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 79
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 59 FINAL
Auburn 48
(15) Nebraska 72 FINAL
(20) Iowa 78

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close