MANKATO, Minn. — The Vikings’ five-year contract extension with Xavier Rhodes made the 27-year-old one of the five highest-paid players in the league at his position. But as usual, the Vikings employed the kind of pay-as-you-go strategy that should keep them in strong cap shape for the future.
Rhodes’ deal, which runs through 2022 and is worth a total of $78.126 million, includes $32.8 million in guaranteed money, according to NFLPA salary data. He’ll receive a $12 million signing bonus this year, as well as the $8.026 guaranteed base salary he was scheduled to get on his fifth-year option.
His deal also includes a guaranteed base salary of $10.4 million in 2018. Rhodes is eligible to receive per-game roster bonuses of $500,000 each season from 2018-22, based on how often he’s on the Vikings’ 46-man gamed roster, and can get workout bonuses of $100,000 each year, as well.
The new money in the deal averages $14.833 million in the first three seasons of the extension (2018, 2019 and 2020). That’s the fourth-highest three-year average for any corner in the league, putting Rhodes just in front of Desmond Trufant (who went three picks before Rhodes in the 2013 draft) and behind only Josh Norman, Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman.
He’ll carry a salary cap number of $10.426 million in 2017 — up $2.4 million from his original figure, thanks to his signing bonus proration — and cap figures of $13.4 million in 2018 and 2019. In the final three years of the deal, Rhodes’ cap charges will be $12.9 million, $14.15 million and $13.85 million, respectively.
It’s a lucrative deal for one of the better cornerbacks in the league, but the Vikings weren’t going to led Rhodes leave after the season. By front-loading the contract, as they usually do with extensions, they retain plenty of flexibility when Rhodes is his 30s for the final three years of the deal.
After Rhodes’ deal, the Vikings have $11.7 million remaining in cap space. Should they decide to lock up another one of their defenders with an extension this season — possibly nose tackle Linval Joseph — they’d have the flexibility to put a cap increase on their 2017 books.