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Access Vikings

Breaking news and year-round coverage of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings. Access Vikings is the Star Tribune's blog covering team news, rumors, games and all things purple.

Salary cap update: Vikings have $15.7 million left after Kendricks contract

The Vikings’ deal with Eric Kendricks, which pays the linebacker $50 million in new money over the next five years, puts $10.5 million of extra cash in the linebacker’s pocket this season, in the form of the signing bonus the team agreed to give Kendricks when it finalized the deal last week.

The $1.138 million base salary Kendricks was originally scheduled to make in 2018, though, remains unchanged, which means his one-fifth of signing bonus is the only effect his new deal has on this year’s salary cap.

Minnesota still has about $15.73 million in space under the 2018 cap, after adding Kendricks’ deal to the ledger. Signing bonuses are amortized over five years for cap purposes in the NFL, meaning Kendricks’ payout will hit the cap in $2.1 million increments each season from 2018 through 2022. The final year of his deal, in 2023, includes no signing bonus proration, and thus carries no dead money.

Kendricks’ deal includes a total of $22.938 million in guaranteed money, though only his $10.5 million signing bonus and his $1.138 million base salary for this season are fully guaranteed as of now. He has base salaries of $4.15 million in 2019 and $7.15 million in 2020 that are guaranteed for injury at the moment, and would become fully guaranteed if Kendricks is on the roster on the third day of the league year.

His deal allows him to earn up to $250,000 each year in per-game roster bonuses, as well as $100,000 in annual offseason workout bonuses.

The Vikings would need about $5.8 million in 2018 cap space to sign their eight draft picks, according to Over the Cap (though that number will change as the Vikings trade picks this weekend). It’s safe to assume, though, the Vikings will have about $10 million in cap space left for 2018 once they’ve signed their draft class.

We’ll see if any of that money winds up as part of a signing bonus for another contract extension, for Stefon Diggs, Danielle Hunter or Anthony Barr, by the time training camp or the start of the regular season rolls around.

Vikings linebacker Brothers suspended 4 games for drug violation

The NFL announced on Friday that Vikings linebacker Kentrell Brothers has been suspended for the first four games of the season for a violation of the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Brothers, who can still play and practice in the preseason, is eligible to return to the active roster after the Vikings’ Week 4 game against the Rams on Sept. 27. His earliest regular-season game would be against the Eagles on Oct. 7.

"I have been informed by the NFL that I will face a 4-game suspension for PED use," Brothers said in a statement given to NFL Network. "While it was not my intention to violate any league policies, I understand that it is up to me to be aware of what goes into my body, and I take full responsibility for that. I sincerely apologize to the Vikings organization, my teammates and our fans for my mistake. I take my job as a professional seriously and will continue to support my teammates during this time."

A fifth-round pick in 2016, Brothers had earned a roster spot the past two years in large part because of his work on special teams, though 2017 fourth-rounder Ben Gedeon won a spot at weak-side linebacker in the team’s base defense after Chad Greenway’s retirement. Brothers, a Missouri product, was active for all 16 games last year after playing 10 as a rookie.

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