Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings stand to be limited in free agency

Posted by: under Vikings, NFC Updated: January 29, 2010 - 12:37 PM

The Vikings have never been afraid to be active in free agency since Zygi Wilf took over as owner in the spring of 2005. But due to the Vikings' success this season, free agency stands to be much different for them this March.

That's because with the final year of the current collective bargaining agreement set to begin March 5, and apparently no extension on the horizon, the 2010 season will be one without a salary cap. There also will be restrictions on free agency and reductions in player benefits.

Among the new rules that will go into place will be one that impacts the final eight teams in the playoffs. As for the teams in the conference championship games, they will not be allowed to sign any unrestricted free agents unless they lose one.

That means the Vikings likely won't be able to be nearly as aggressive in lining up visits with players early in free agency because they don't know when they will lose a player. Plus, you have to figure that potential top-line free agents -- and there aren't many of them -- are going to want to set up visits with teams that they know can sign them immediately.

Update: Mike Garafola of the Newark Star-Ledger (via Pro Football Talk) has the franchise and transition tag numbers at each position for 2010. These figures are based on the average of the highest five or 10 players at each position, depending on which tag a team might use.

Here they are:

Quarterback: $16.405 million [franchise tag], $14.546 million [transition tag]

Defensive end: $12.398m, $10.193m

Offensive line: $10.731m, $9.142m

Linebacker: $9.680m, $8.373m

Cornerback: $9.566 m , $8.056 m

Wide receiver: $9.521m, $8.651m

Running back: $8.156m, $7.151m
 
Defensive tackle: $7.003m, $6.353m
 
Safety: $6.455m, $6.011m
 
Tight end: $5.908m, $5.248m

Punter/kicker: $2.814m, $2.629m

 

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