Fun fact: Sam Bradford will make $18 million next season and he’s not one of the ten highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL.
ESPN released a story Monday with the highest paid players at each position, and only two Vikings made the top 10 or five of their respective positions.
- Harrison Smith: $10.25 million APY ranks 4th among safeties
- Riley Reiff: $11.75 million APY ranks 7th among offensive tackles
Based on average per year salary, no other Vikings cracked the top five or 10 of their positions.
The 15 highest paid Vikings based on average per year salary:
- Sam Bradford: $18 million
- Riley Reiff: $11.75 million
- Harrison Smith: $10.25 million
- Everson Griffen: $8.5 million
- Kyle Rudolph: $7.3 million
- Alex Boone: $6.7 million
- Linval Joseph: $6.25 million
- Mike Remmers: $6 million
- Adam Thielen: $5.67 million
- Brian Robison: $5.6 million
- Latavius Murray: $5 million
- Andrew Sendejo: $4 million
- Datone Jones: $3.75 million
- Jarius Wright: $3.7 million
- Terence Newman: $3.25 million
Reiff, Remmers, Thielen, Murray, Jones and Newman were just signed or re-signed in free agency.
In the ESPN article, there’s clearly an emphasis placed on paying big money for the best cornerbacks in the league. Xavier Rhodes is not on the list because he’s still on his rookie contract, but when he gets a new deal – before or after next season when he’s a free agent – he’s going to get paid like one of the elite corners in the league.
- Trumaine Johnson, Rams: $16.4 million
- Josh Norman, Redskins: $15 million
- Patrick Peterson, Cardinals: $14 million
- Richard Sherman, Seahawks: $14 million
- Joe Haden, Browns: $13.5 million
The Vikings also have to consider that 2019 will bring unrestricted free agent statuses to the likes of Danielle Hunter, Stefon Diggs, Eric Kendricks, Linval Joseph and Everson Griffen.
If the Star Tribune’s Andrew Krammer is correct that at least four Vikings free agents this year left better offers from Minnesota on the table to sign elsewhere, then there’s no guarantee money and Minnesota will be enough to keep these guys in purple and gold.
If Joseph is still an elite defensive tackle going into 2019 he’s going to command at least $13 million (probably more with a rising cap), which is what Tampa Bay’s Gerald McCoy will make as the fifth-highest paid defensive tackle in the league this year.
Kendricks and Griffen could fall in the $10+ million range, too.
For now, worry about Rhodes. But be aware of what’s coming.