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EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings offensive line was, as usual, a focal point in Minnesota during the 2020 season.

And it will be a focus of the offseason as the Vikings decide which direction they go with that unit.

Overall, the play of the men up front represented much of how the Vikings season went as a hole, with some strong moments, some frustrating moments … and some in-between moments, too.

Minnesota’s offensive line used five different starting combinations up front this past season, with center Cheap Garrett Bradbury Jersey and left guard Cheap Dakota Dozier Jersey playing every snap.

Best Offensive Line Photos of 2020
View the best offensive line photos of the 2020 season from Vikings photographers.

Right tackle Brian O’Neill also started all 16 games, missing just a handful of snaps in Tampa Bay after he was inadvertently poked in the eye. And left tackle Riley Reiff was also a mainstay, missing only the season finale because he landed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.

While there was strong continuity in four of five spots, the Vikings started four different players at right guard.

Rookie Ezra Cleveland, a 2020 second-round pick, led the way with nine total starts. He took over for an injured Cheap Dru Samia Jersey, who started four games after the season’s initial starter, Cheap Pat Elflein Jersey, was injured after Week 1.

Even Cleveland couldn’t avoid the injury bug, as Brett Jones started in Weeks 11 and 12 due to an ankle injury Cleveland suffered and played through in Week 10.

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No matter who was in, the Vikings had a strong running game all season, as Minnesota ranked fifth overall with 142.7 rushing yards per game.

According to analytics website Pro Football Focus, the Vikings ranked 18th overall with a run blocking grade of 65.7.

Minnesota’s pass blocking grade, according to PFF, ranked 29th overall at 55.5. PFF also credited the Vikings with 214 total pressures allowed, which were the 11th-most among all teams.

Vikings linemen accounted for 172 of those allowed pressures (80.4 percent), with PFF noting quarterback Cheap Kirk Cousins Jersey being responsible for 27 allowed pressures (12.6 percent). The final seven percent of pressures were attributed to tight ends and running backs.

Overall, the Vikings offensive line endured both highs and lows in 2020.

But if the unit can keep progressing forward, it could mean the Vikings have one of the league’s top offenses in 2021.

Notable Number: 0

The Vikings did not record a single outing in 2020 in which they kept Cousins clean the entire game. The quarterback was sacked at least once in all 16 games, and was brought down multiple times in 12 of 16 games.

Minnesota allowed 39 total sacks in 2020, which tied for the 12th-most allowed in the league. (And is also in line with the unit’s PFF ranking in pressures allowed from above).

The 39 sacks allowed was 11 more than Minnesota gave up in 2019. Cousins has been sacked 107 times in his three seasons in Purple.

Memorable Moment

When your running back goes off for 216 total yards and four scores, you know the offensive line did its part.

That was the case in Week 8 at Lambeau Field, when Cheap Dalvin Cook Jersey rushed for 163 yards and three scores … and highlighted his 63 receiving yards with a 50-yard touchdown catch on a screen.

Check out Cook’s receiving touchdown above, and you’ll see Bradbury, Dozier and Cleveland helping to bust Cook loose. Cheap Brian ONeill Jersey shows his hustle by adding a downfield block of Preston Smith and gets to the end zone just a second after Cook, too.

That play summed up the athleticism of the line, which was needed on one of the most explosive plays of the season.

Oh yeah, they also showed their muscle by leading the way on a 21-yard touchdown run, along with a pair of 1-yard scores.

Regular-Season Statistics

Cheap Riley Reiff Jersey

1,002 offensive snaps (92.6 percent); started 15 games

Dakota Dozier

1,082 offensive snaps (100 percent); started all 16 games

Garrett Bradbury

1,082 offensive snaps (100 percent); started all 16 games

Ezra Cleveland

621 offensive snaps (57.4 percent); started nine games

Brian O’Neill

1,069 offensive snaps (98.8 percent); started all 16 games

Dru Samia

272 offensive snaps (25.1 percent); started four games

Cheap Brett Jones Jersey

137 offensive snaps (12.7 percent); started two games

Cheap Rashod Hill Jersey

120 offensive snaps (11.1 percent); started one game

Pat Elflein

52 offensive snaps (4.8 percent); started one game

Olisaemeka Udoh

2 offensive snaps (0.18 percent); no starts

Cheap Kyle Hinton Jersey

No offensive snaps; spent all but one game on practice squad

Cheap Aviante Collins Jersey

No offensive snaps; spent entire season on practice squad

Cheap Blake Brandel Jersey

No offensive snaps; spent entire season on practice squad

The highest high

1. Minnesota’s offensive performance at home against Detroit in Week 9 was one of the best of the season.

The offensive line played a key role in that, allowing just one sack of Cousins, which tied for a season low. (Minnesota had four games in which it allowed one sack).

The unit was also a factor in the run game, as the Vikings rushed for a season-high 275 yards against the Lions.

Cook led the way with a career-best 206 yards on just 22 attempts (9.36 yards per carry) and included a 70-yard score among his two touchdowns. Cheap Alexander Mattison Jersey  added 69 yards on 12 attempts (5.75 yards per carry).

The lowest low

1. The Vikings were sitting at 6-6 and in the NFC’s final Wild Card spot when they traveled to Tampa Bay for a Week 14 road game.

But in a battle of playoff hopefuls, the Vikings offensive line couldn’t withstand the pressure from a blitz-happy Buccaneers team that sacked Cousins six times.

That was the most sacks allowed in a game by the Vikings in 2020 and is tied for the most sacks on Cousins in a game during his three seasons with the Vikings.

2 pressing questions for 2021

1. Where does Cheap Ezra Cleveland Jersey play in his second season?

Cleveland was an all-conference left tackle at Boise State before the Vikings tabbed him with the 58th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

But the Vikings worked primarily with him at guard. He opened training camp at left guard with the second team before eventually starting nine games at right guard.

Reiff turned in one of his best pro seasons and is under contract for 2021, but there has been some speculation as to whether he returns (for what it’s worth, there was considerable speculation in the media last year about Reiff being with the Vikings in 2020). When Reiff was unavailable for the finale, Minnesota turned to Hill. If Reiff isn’t back, will the Vikings shift Cleveland to left tackle? Or do they keep him at right guard, where he was sandwiched between a pair of other young linemen in 2020.

2. Will the Vikings keep adding early-round linemen?

The Vikings have certainly focused on offensive linemen in the past few drafts, taking one in each of the first two rounds in each of the past three seasons.

O’Neill (2018) and Cleveland (2020) were second-rounders, and Bradbury was a first-rounder in 2019. That strategy has allowed Minnesota to have a trio of building blocks along the line for the foreseeable future.

Will they do it again? That depends on the question above with left tackle, while the Vikings could also look to add depth at left guard, too.

The trio of O’Neill, Cleveland and Bradbury — plus another high draft pick — could set up the Vikings well both in 2021 and down the line.

One final thing to keep in mind is that O’Neill is entering the final season of his rookie contract, which means a potential contract extension could be on the horizon.

Quotes

“Those guys battled their rear ends off all year. I think you’re always going to look to improve that area. There’s no area that we don’t want to look to improve. I thought Riley Reiff had a heck of a year. O’Neill has a chance to be an extremely really good player. Bradbury is a good player. He was dinged up a little bit this season, but he’s a tough kid, never says anything, doesn’t want to miss any time, and I think Cleveland has a chance to be a good player and Dakota battled his rear end off. I do like that group. The continuity that they have, the communications that they have. I like that group, but we’ll have to see, and if we can improve, we’ll improve.”

— Zimmer on the overall play of the offensive line

“Ezra’s awesome. He definitely started coming out of his shell toward the end of the season. He definitely kind of had the rookie mindset of, ‘I’m going to put my head down, do what I need to.’ Once he started to get some starts under his belt, getting more comfortable, he definitely came out of his shell. Ezra’s a great add to the room on the field and off the field. Everyone likes him. And he’s gotten a lot better. He’s going to be a really good player in this league and I’m excited. I don’t know where he’s going to play, but I’m excited I’m in the room with him, for sure.”

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After a disappointing 2020 campaign in which the Minnesota Vikings finished 7-9 and missed the postseason, changes are coming. And coming quick.

Who might be returning to the 2021 edition of the team and which players will Vikings fans bid adieu?

We take a look at every player on the roster and their contract status — i.e. how much it would cost to cut them, if they are a free agent and what kind (unrestricted, restricted, exclusive rights) or if the player is simply signed to a futures deal.

Who do you think should stay or go on the offensive side of the ball? Well, at the end of the article you can cast your vote for each player’s fate (presented in the order they are listed below).

All contract and salary information courtesy OverTheCap.com.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Zack Bailey: An undrafted free agent out of South Carolina in 2019, Bailey spent the first eight weeks of the 2020 campaign on Tampa Bay’s practice squad before hopping on Minnesota’s practice squad. He played left guard, right tackle and center in college. Salary situation: Signed to a reserve/future contract. Our take: A young, versatile lineman? Count us in. Stay

Cheap Garrett Bradbury Jersey: The highest-drafted center in Vikings history (No. 18 overall in 2019) started all 16 games in 2020, paving the way for Cheap Dalvin Cook Jersey career year. Salary situation: He’s got two years left (plus the 2023 team option) on his rookie deal with $5.7 million in dead money if he’s cut after June 1. Our take: On an unsteady offensive line, Bradbury remains the center of the future. Stay

Cheap Blake Brandel Jersey: A 2020 sixth-round pick by Minnesota, the former Oregon State tackle spent the season on the practice squad. Salary situation: Signed to a reserve/future contract. Our take: With the ability to play both tackle positions, the Vikings have a few years to figure out what Brandel can do. Stay

Cheap Ezra Cleveland Jersey: The Vikings used a second-round pick (No. 58) on Cleveland in the 2020 draft, and so far, he looks the part. Cleveland, drafted as a tackle, debuted in Week 6 against Atlanta at right guard and played 100% of the Vikings’ offensive snaps there the rest of the season. Salary situation: Three years remain on his rookie deal. Our take: Cleveland already can play at a high level at guard. Now let’s see what he can do at his natural position. Stay

Cheap Dakota Dozier Jersey: Dozier played 100% of the offensive snaps at left guard in 2020, despite constantly being picked out as the weakest link of the line. Salary situation: Unrestricted free agent. Our take: Let’s hope the Vikings upgrade at left guard. Go

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Cheap Rashod Hill Jersey: Spending the last five seasons in Minnesota, Hill has appeared in 59 games, making 17 starts (one in 2020). Salary situation: Unrestricted free agent. Our take: There might be big changes on the offensive line this offseason. Why not keep one consistent and bring Hill back? Stay

Cheap Kyle Hinton Jersey: A surprise seventh-round pick by Minnesota out of Division II Washburn, Hinton spent the season on the practice squad before being activated for the season finale in Detroit. He did not play. Salary situation: Becomes an exclusive-rights free agent after 2021 season. No dead cap money if cut. Our take: You don’t select a DII guard in the seventh round just to cut him after Year 1. Stay

Cheap Brett Jones Jersey: Jones played 15 games for Minnesota and spent most of the time on special teams, although he did make starts at right guard in Week 11 and Week 12. Salary situation: Unrestricted free agent. Our take: With all the young offensive linemen in the organization, it might be time to say farewell. Go

Brian O’Neill: Perhaps general manager Rick Spielman’s best find on the O-line in any of his drafts, O’Neill started all 16 games at right tackle. Salary situation: O’Neill has one more year left on his deal. Our take: Stay. Obviously. Is there an extension in store this offseason? Stay

Cheap Riley Reiff Jersey: Expected to be cut before the 2020 season, Reiff stayed in Minnesota on a restructured contract. He started 15 games at left tackle. Salary situation: Reiff has one more year on his deal worth $13.9 million. If cut, the Vikings would take on $2.2 million in dead money but save $11.8 million in cap space. Our take: Reiff was solid for Minnesota in 2020, but the Vikings need to make financial room somewhere. Go

Cheap Dru Samia Jersey: Samia started four games at guard in 2020. It did not go well. At all. Salary situation: Two years remaining on his rookie deal. If cut before June 1, the Vikings will save $665k in cap space. If cut after June 1, Minnesota will save $850,000. Our take: For the sake of Cheap Kirk Cousins Jersey, he should probably go. Go

Cheap Oli Udoh Jersey: Udoh played a whopping four offensive snaps over three games in 2020. Salary situation: He’ll become an unrestricted free agent after the 2022 campaign. Our take: With the Vikings struggles on the line, it’s a head-scratcher to why Udoh didn’t get much of a chance to play. Stay

QUARTERBACK

Cheap Jake Browning Jersey: Browning has spent the last two seasons on the Vikings practice squad. Salary situation: Signed to a reserve/future contract. Our take: Could he compete for the backup role next year? Stay

Kirk Cousins: Cousins struggled early in 2020, throwing 10 interceptions over the team’s first six games. But he settled down after that and logged a 113.6 passer rating over the final 10 contests. Salary situation: Cousins has two seasons left on his contract. He’ll count $31 million towards the cap in 2021. If the Vikings cut Cousins, they’d eat all $31 million in dead cap space (and $41 million if cut before June 1). Translation? It’s not happening. For those firmly on the anti-Cousins bandwagon, Minnesota could save $21 million in cap space by trading Cousins after June 1. Our take: Look, Minnesota isn’t trading for Deshaun Watson. Cousins will be back. Stay

Cheap Sean Mannion Jersey: The 28-year-old didn’t see a single snap on the field in 2020. Salary situation: Unrestricted free agent. Our take: It might be time to give a younger player a chance to become the backup. Go

Cheap Nate Stanley Jersey: A seventh-round selection in 2020, the former Iowa quarterback spent the season on the practice squad. Salary situation: Signed to a reserve/future contract. Our take: Stanley, like all 2020 rookies, was robbed of a preseason to showcase his talent. Let’s see what he can do next fall. Stay

RUNNING BACK

Cheap Ameer Abdullah Jersey: Abdullah logged 100 total yards and two touchdowns on 16 touches in 2020. He also returned 15 kickoffs for 352 yards (23.5 average). Salary situation: Unrestricted free agent. Our take: Minnesota should try to bring in a more explosive kick returner next year. Go

Cheap Jake Bargas Jersey: A tight end in college, Bargas transitioned to fullback as a pro after signing as an undrafted free agent in May. Bargas played seven offensive snaps in Week 16 against New Orleans when C.J. Ham was inactive. Salary situation: Signed to a reserve/future contract. Our take: You can’t have a better mentor at fullback than Ham. Stay

Mike Boone: Boone rushed 11 times for 59 yards (5.4 average) and a touchdown in 2020. He’s logged 71 carries for 379 yards over his three-year career. Salary situation: Restricted free agent. Our take: You can find a Cheap Mike Boone Jersey late in the 2021 draft … or even among undrafted free agents. Go

Dalvin Cook: After signing a contract extension before the season, Cook tallied a career-best 1,557 rushing yards, which ranked second in the NFL. Salary situation: Five years remaining on his contract extension. If cut before June 1, the Vikings would suffer $12.4 million in dead money. Our take: Cook is proving those “never pay RBs” folks wrong. At times, he’s the entire Vikings offense. Stay

Cheap C.J. Ham Jersey: Cook wouldn’t have put up those big numbers without Ham paving the way. Plus, he logged 115 total yards on 13 touches (eight catches, five rushes). Salary situation: Three years remaining on his deal and a $2.25 million penalty if cut before June 1. Our take: Ham will make $3 million next season. He’s worth every penny. Stay

Cheap Alexander Mattison Jersey: In his second NFL season, Mattison rushed 96 times for 434 yards and two scores for the Vikings in 2020. He earned two starts when Cook was out. Salary situation: Two years remaining on his rookie deal. He’ll earn $1.1 million next season. Our take: Mattison isn’t a game-changing back, but he’s a nice sidekick for Cook. Stay

SPECIAL TEAMS

Cheap Dan Bailey Jersey: Bailey set career lows by nailing just 68.2% of his field-goal attempts and 86% of his extra-point attempts. In a two-week span late in the season, Bailey went 1-for-4 on extra-point attempts and 2-for-6 on field-goal attempts against Jacksonville and Tampa Bay. Oof. Salary situation: Two years left on his contract. If he’s cut after June 1, the Vikings would save $2.8 million towards the cap and face $1.1M in dead money. Our take: It might be time to find a new kicker’s career to ruin. Go

Taylor Bertolet: Minnesota signed Bertolet to its practice squad Dec. 19. He has yet to attempt a kick in the NFL. Salary situation: Bertolet’s contract with the Vikings expired, making him a free agent. Our take: On to the next one. Go

Cheap Britton Colquitt Jersey: Among punters with 40+ attempts last season, Colquitt ranked 20th with an average of 45.1 yards per punt. He ranked 31st with a mere 11 punts downed inside the 20-yard line, doing so at a 20.4% clip, which was even worse at 34th. Translation? He wasn’t good. Salary situation: Two years left on his deal. Colquitt is due $3.2 million next season with $1.4 million in dead cap if cut before June 1, $717K if cut afterwards. Our take: It’s possible that we’ll see a new kicker and punter in town for Ryan Ficken, who was promoted to special teams coordinator. Go

Andrew DePaola: Minnesota spent a seventh-round pick on Cheap Austin Cutting Jersey in 2019, only to put him on waivers Dec. 1. DePaola played the final seven contests. Salary situation: One year remaining on his deal. He’s due $990K next season. Our take: Sure, he can stay. Stay

TIGHT END

Cheap Tyler Conklin Jersey: Primarily used as a blocking tight end over the first two seasons of his career, Conklin got involved in the air attack in 2020, catching 19 passes for 194 yards and a score — and all of that production occurring after Week 9. Salary situation: Conklin is due $990K for next season. He’ll become a free agent after 2021. Our take: Yep, he should be back. And it might be time to talk contract extension. Stay

Cheap Brandon Dillon Jersey: In his second NFL season, Dillon played 12 offensive snaps for Minnesota in 2021 and caught one pass for six yards. Salary situation: Signed to a reserve/future contract. Our take: At 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, it can’t hurt to bring Dillon back. Stay

Hale Hentges: Former Washington and Indianapolis tight end Hentges was signed by the Vikings on Dec. 10. He played all of seven special teams snaps in the season finale vs. Detroit. Salary situation: Restricted free agent. Our take: Hentges had his cup of coffee with the Vikings, and that might be it. Go

Cheap Irv Smith Jr. Jersey: The second-round pick hauled in 30 catches for a career-high 365 yards and five touchdowns in 13 contests, ranking third on the team in the latter two categories. Salary situation: Two years to go on his rookie contract. Our take: Is 2021 the year Smith sees a TE1 workload? Stay

Cheap Kyle Rudolph Jersey: Rudolph played 12 contests in 2020, the first time he’s missed time since 2014. Rudolph finished with 28 catches for 334 yards and one score. Salary situation: There are three years remaining on his contract extension he signed in 2019. He’s due $9.4 million next season, which is 5.2% of the cap number. If cut before June 1, the Vikings will suffer $4.4 million in dead money but will save $5 million in cap space. Our take: Here we are again. Rudolph has often been rumored to be on his way out, but this could actually be the offseason it happens. The Vikings are too cap-strapped. Go

WIDE RECEIVER

Cheap Chad Beebe Jersey: The 2018 undrafted free-agent signee set career bests with 20 catches, 201 receiving yards and two scores in 2020. He never could get much momentum in the punt return game, averaging 4.7 yards per attempt with two fumbles (one lost). Salary situation: Restricted free agent. Our take: The Vikings might want to find a legitimate No. 3 receiver behind Cheap Justin Jefferson Jersey and Cheap Adam Thielen Jersey. Go

Cheap Dan Chisena Jersey: A surprise signing after the draft by Minnesota (we detailed his unlikely journey to the NFL here), Chisena played 259 snaps on special teams and logged six tackles and one fumble recovery. His blazing speed was put on display as a gunner on the punt team, but he never made a game-changing play. Salary situation: Under contract for the next two seasons and will earn $783K in 2021. It’ll only cost the Vikings $6K in dead money if he’s cut before June 1. Our take: He constantly was the first player down the field on punts. Might as well give him more time to grow. Stay

Justin Jefferson: The 22nd overall pick was the Vikings’ brightest spot in 2020. Jefferson set the Super Bowl era rookie record with 1,400 receiving yards to go along with 88 catches and seven touchdowns. In a deep 2020 WR class, he looks like the cream of the crop. Salary situation: Signed for the next three seasons (plus a team option for 2024). Our take: We can’t wait to watch what’s next. Stay

Cheap Bisi Johnson Jersey: Johnson started the season as the Vikings’ No. 2 receiver before taking a back seat to Jefferson after two games. He logged 14 catches for 189 yards. Salary situation: He’ll be an unrestricted free agent in 2023. If cut before June 1, the Vikings will face a mere $37K in dead money. Our take: The Vikings don’t have much depth at the position behind Jefferson and Thielen. Johnson is cheap, so therefore probably will return. Stay

Cheap K.J. Osborn Jersey: A fifth-round pick in 2020, Osborn didn’t play a single offensive snap but he returned 14 kicks for 303 yards (21.6 average) and seven punts for 27 yards (3.9 average). Osborn fumbled on two punt returns, losing the football once. Salary situation: Three years remain on his contract. He’ll be paid $846K next season. If cut before June 1, the Vikings would save $646K in cap space. Our take: Osborn didn’t inspire anyone in the return game. Will the Vikings really trust him in Year II? Go

Adam Thielen: In 15 games, Thielen caught 74 passes for 925 yards and ranked third in the NFL with 14 receiving touchdowns. Salary situation: Signed for the next four seasons. It’d cost the Vikings $5.4 million to cut him before June 1. Our take: We can’t wait for another season of Thielen & Jefferson.

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If you’re already sick of trade rumors involving Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and the San Francisco 49ers, it doesn’t look like they’re going to disappear anytime soon.

We’re completely guilty of speculating about a possible Cousins to the 49ers trade during the last few months and now, ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio has thrown his hat into the discussion.

Florio recently appeared on a San Francisco radio station (95.7 The Game) and he believes that San Francisco making a trade for the current Vikings quarterback is “more realistic,” than them completing a deal to acquire Houston Texans signal-caller Deshaun Watson.

Mike Florio thinks the Minnesota Vikings are looking to give away Kirk Cousins
Florio’s comment about Cousins being a more realistic trade option for the 49ers than Watson is far from a hot take. What he went on to say about what it would take for Minnesota to deal their starting quarterback is where his thoughts begin to get ludicrous.

“I can’t see the Vikings demanding a whole lot if they would decide to move on from Kirk Cousins. I think that’s something that the 49ers should definitely explore, and if the Vikings know what’s good for them, frankly, in all due respect to Cheap Kirk Cousins Jersey and the team, they’ll decide to make a move.”

He can’t see the Vikings demanding a whole lot? Is this what Florio truly believes or is this what the guy who thought Cheap Case Keenum Jersey could’ve returned to Minnesota in 2019 wishes would happen?

The Minnesota Vikings enter the 2021 NFL free agency period needing to make decisions on several free agents on their roster. Given how Minnesota’s roster is constructed, the team will have some financial decisions that could leave veterans looking for other teams.

The 2020 season for the Vikings was tough despite bright spots
The 2020 NFL season was challenging for the Minnesota Vikings. The team went through many players over the year. Forcing them to sign several guys off their practice squad, other teams’ rosters, and free agency. As a result, the Vikings finished 7-9 and have their highest draft pick (14th) since 2015.

The trade that landed Justin Jefferson
That is not to say the season did not have its highlights. Despite Cheap Stefon Diggs Jersey stellar season, the trade with the Bills should be viewed as a success. The Vikings have a star on their hands with Cheap Justin Jefferson Jersey.

The former LSU standout finished the 2020 season with 1,400 receiving yards, a total that set rookie records in both the Super Bowl era and Vikings franchise history. Jefferson surpassed both Anquan Boldin (1,377 yards) and Hall of Famer Cheap Randy Moss Jersey Vikings record (1,313 yards) with a 133-yard performance in Week 17.

Jefferson led all rookies this season with 88 receptions and tied for second-most touchdowns with 7. Cheap Adam Thielen Jersey was a touchdown machine, and Cheap Dalvin Cook Jersey was, well, Dalvin Cook.

However, it is not always sunny in Minnesota.

The Vikings will enter the 2021 free agency period with salary cap concerns
Currently, Minnesota isn’t projected to have much salary cap space when the new league year begins in March. According to Over the Cap, the Vikings are projected to be over the salary cap by $11.628 million.

Of the 15 Vikings players who will be free agents in 2021, 10 are unrestricted free agents. Before they can attempt to re-sign them or any draft picks, the team needs to free up some salary cap early in the free agency period.

We will likely see several veterans turn into roster cuts due to cap constraints
The easiest of these targets would be tight end Cheap Kyle Rudolph Jersey. Rudolph has been a cornerstone of the Vikings’ offense. However, the team selected Cheap Irv Smith Jr. Jersey to be the successor when this day came. Not only that, but the Vikings save $5.1 million in 2021 cap space if the team cuts him before June 1. The team does incur $4.35 million in dead money if they make that decision.

Another interesting name could be left tackle Cheap Riley Reiff Jersey, but this is a bit more of a longshot. Reiff is coming off one of the best seasons of his career, and plays at one of the critical positions in the NFL. However, from a pure money aspect, it makes sense. The Vikings would save $11.75 million in 2021 space if the team moves on, while taking on $2.2 million in dead money with the move.

Another player is safety Harrison Smith. There is no question that Smith is one of the best safeties in the NFL. Over his nine-year career with the Vikings, Harrison has racked up 747 tackles (557 solo), 66 pass breakups, and 28 interceptions in his 130 games played.

The issue is Cheap Harrison Smith Jersey will be on the last year of his contract in 2021. If they choose to release him, Minnesota could save $10.25 million and incur no dead cap in the process.

The Vikings’ defense has several players hitting free agency in 2021
When looking at the Vikings’ free agents for 2021, the defensive side outweighs the offense quite a bit.

One member of the Vikings’ defense looking at free agency in 2021 is LB Eric Wilson. The Vikings asked a lot from Wilson in 2020. He was made a starter along with Cheap Anthony Barr Jersey and Cheap Eric Kendricks Jersey after Minnesota used the transition tag on Wilson to keep him on the team for one more season. The move cost Minnesota approximately $3.3 million for the year.

Wilson played in all 16 games for the Vikings and led all Minnesota defenders with 122 tackles (62 solo). He was also the only one of the three to make it through the whole season uninjured. Wilson could see a contract offer around $5 million in free agency, which could be low enough for the Vikings to counter.

Safety Anthony Harris will likely part from the Vikings in free agency
Coming into 2020, Anthony Harris was viewed as one of the top defensive players to hit the market. That was before the Vikings surprised him and everyone else with a franchise tag.

Harris saw a decline in his production last year. In the previous season, Harris snagged 6 interceptions but failed to record a pick in 2020. Now, that is not to say he will come that much cheaper, but it’ll be slightly more reasonable. According to Spotrac, Vikings S Anthony Harris enters the 2021 free agency period with an estimated market value of $14 million per year on a five-year, $70 million contract.

Given the various needs the Vikings must address in free agency and other pending free agents, Harris is likely gone this offseason.

Minnesota Vikings’ 2021 offensive free agents
RB Cheap Ameer Abdullah Jersey, 28
WR Cheap Chad Beebe Jersey, 27
RB Cheap Mike Boone Jersey, 26
LT Cheap Dakota Dozier Jersey, 30
G Rashod HIll, 29
G Cheap Kyle Hinton Jersey, 23
C Cheap Brett Jones Jersey, 30
QB Cheap Sean Mannion Jersey 29

Minnesota Vikings’ 2021 defensive and special teams free agents
LB Cheap Todd Davis Jersey, 31
S Cheap Anthony Harris Jersey, 30
S George Iloka, 31
DT Cheap Jaleel Johnson Jersey, 27
CB Cheap Chris Jones Jersey, 26
DE Cheap Ifeadi Odenigbo Jersey, 27
LB Cheap Eric Wilson Jersey  27

Florio is also a guy who said two years ago that the Vikings might’ve been better during the 2019 season if they had stuck with Keenum instead of signing Cousins. Are we beginning to understand why he might “think” Minnesota would be willing to practically give away their current starting quarterback?

For a team like the Vikings with a current head coach and general manager who are heading into a 2021 season where they will be on the hot seat, any trade offer for Cousins that doesn’t include a first-round draft pick in return isn’t something Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman are going to bother with.

With their jobs on the line, Zimmer and Spielman aren’t about to give away Minnesota’s starting quarterback who just threw 35 touchdowns during the 2020 season. The Vikings would need enough trade compensation to land a new starting signal-caller whose performance wouldn’t result in the offense taking a significant step back in 2021.

So contrary to what Florio believes (and wishes), there’s no reason to expect Minnesota to agree to a trade involving Cousins that doesn’t result in them receiving at least one first-round draft pick in return.