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More Confusing Rules

The pending Collective Bargaining Agreement and pending uncapped year presents many new rules throughout the offseason, especially for the Vikings since they qualified as a top-four team.

As I gain better understanding of these rules, I will endeavor to pass that information along to you guys so that everyone can have a clear understanding of why the Vikings do the things they do this offseason.  Okay, it may not always be clear but… I’ll try.

One note I found interesting is that while the Vikings have limited capabilities when it comes to signing unrestricted free agents, these rules do not seem to apply to players that did not have their contracts expire but rather were cut by their respective teams.

Here is a three part explanation:

Brandon Marshall is a restricted free agent.  If the Vikings wanted to sign him, then they would have to offer above the tender placed on him by the Broncos (yet to be determined) and then give up the proper draft picks as dictated by the tender.  So if the Broncos tendered him at the highest possible level, the Vikings could make him an offer that the Broncos decide not to match.  In that case, the Vikings would have to give the Broncos their first and third round draft picks for the 2010 draft.

Antonio Bryant is due to become an unrestricted free agent.  If the Bucs do not re-sign him before free agency opens, then the Vikings will be limited on the offer they can make them.  They would be unable to extend Bryant an offer until after one of their own free agents signs with another team and could only offer Bryant a 2010 salary that is equal or less to that of what their own free agent received in his new contract from another team.

For example, if Chester Taylor hits free agency, the Vikings would not be able to make Bryant an offer until after Taylor signs with, say, the Seahawks.  If Taylor’s new contract calls for him to make $1.5 million in 2010 then the Vikings could offer Bryant a contract that sees no more than $1.5 million in 2010.  For both players, their contracts can increase by no more than 30% over the life of the contract.  These rules will make it very difficult for the Vikings to sign a big-ticket free agent.

However, let’s say that the Patriots decide to prematurely part ways with Randy Moss.  He would be an unrestricted free agent, but the fact that he was cut makes the Vikings able to jump into the running on equal turf as everyone else.  The 30% maximum increase rule applies to all teams and all players, but the Vikings would not be restricted in making him whatever offer they choose.

So, to re-cap, players that are cut by their respective teams are the most easily targeted by the Vikings and these are the players to keep an eye on during free agency.

So far, only a handful of players have been cut.  They include linebacker Antonio Pierce, wide out Torry Holt, and offensive tackle Tra Thomas.  I will try to keep you updated on players that become available and also if the Vikings are thought to have interest in any of them.

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22 Responses to “More Confusing Rules”

  1. B. Grant says:

    Of course, this is only in even-numbered years. No doubt Adam will soon provide a summary of how the process works in odd-numbered years.

  2. Fragile Freds says:

    W H A T? Too darn confusing.

    We should give Tony Pierce a look.

  3. Fragile Freds says:

    Not your fault AK….your old Pal’s reference was to the NFL league confusion, not your writing.

    • Adam Warwas says:

      No worries,

      I do agree that Pierce is worth a look. In fact, any of the three guys mentioned above are worth a look in my opinion.

      Greg Lewis provided a veteran presence to our wide outs… if we lose Lewis then Holt would be even better.

      • bigjohnny84 says:

        The guys on NFL network were saying that Pierce is slow and therefore slows the whole defense down.

      • Purple Charlie says:

        Tra Thomas is getting up there ( 35 ) Do you think he would have the same role as Pace does in Chicago, or to just back up and part of the rotation???
        What do you think???

      • Adam Warwas says:

        Pierce has slowed down a lot… but so had Napo but even he was able to provide good depth two years ago.

        Thomas is not the player he once was either, but if the draft comes and goes and the Vikings still feel like they need OT help, then Thomas may be a good depth guy.

  4. Adam Warwas says:

    Joey Porter has also been cut. Not a good fit, though.

  5. TW11 says:

    I would like to see both Holt and Thomas with the Vikings.

    That way, with Rice, Harvin, Holt and Johnson(who I believe have a lot of potential), we try to trade Berrian for either a draft pick or another player.

    The same goes with Thomas, that although is not the player he used to be, is not a liability. So, with Thomas, Loadholt and the draft coming, we can trade McKinnie too, for either another draft pick or yet another player.

    • Adam Warwas says:

      I like the thinking, but would not consider Thomas a replacement for McKinnie… there would need to be a better plan in place before they can consider trading him.

      Holt, on the other hand, would be a solid addition with or without Berrian.

      I think Berrian has greater value than what the Vikes would get for him in a trade… I know that isn’t the popular opinion.

      • TW11 says:

        I don’t consider Thomas a replacement for McKinnie either, I just think he could be a decent backup plan if we can’t get a nice Tackle in the draft with the extra pick we would get by trading McKinnie.

        I think Berrian has greater value than what the Vikings would get for him in a trade too, but with Rice, Harvin, Berrian, Holt and Johnson, one of them would be expendable, and out of the 5, Berrian, to me at least, is the most expendable and is also the one we would get most value in return.

      • Adam Warwas says:

        This discussion makes me think you and I are on the same page, for sure.

      • Adam Warwas says:

        Also, packaging Berrian and McKinnie TOGETHER in a trade with say the Niners or Raiders could net us some very nice draft picks.

      • TW11 says:

        Yeah, I just hope Childress and the rest of the staff at least read this page we’re in. Hahahahaha!

      • TW11 says:

        Or the Skins… They are considering taking a LT with the 4th pick, but I believe that they would be really interested in a proven LT like McKinnie, and in a nice WR like Berrian.

  6. justin moroz says:

    I would stay well clear of pierce. There’s no way Zigi wants a guy who has a bad history with police steming from the Buress incident. We do need someone else in the middle in case EJ has a set back. We need to be focusing on DBs.

    • Adam Warwas says:

      Pierce’s involvment with Burress is a good point, though history didn’t stop the Vikes from targeting Jared Allen, Percy Harvin, or Jamarca Sanford… so who knows.

      • bigjohnny84 says:

        Hey Adam, do you think Bulaga from Iowa could step in and replace Bmac if he would drop to us. From what I’ve seen Bulaga is pretty impressive. I would love to get rid of that jackass Bmac, he’s gonna end up being a cancer in the locker room.

      • Adam Warwas says:

        Yes, Johnny. He would not be immune to the rookie mistakes and learning curve, but he’s my second favorite tackle in this class (still have lots of film to watch though).

        I would be shocked if he falls anywhere near the Vikings.

      • starrc10 says:

        I always want more IA guys on the roster! Love me some Greenway!

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