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Should Vikings Fans Be Worried?

July 20, 2010

With the possibility of the owner’s locking out the players in 2011, teams are approaching contracts differently than ever before. Some teams (see: Green Bay Packers) are taking advantage of a salary cap-less season and re-signing their veterans to lucrative, front-loaded contracts. Other teams are sitting back and counting their pennies while they wait to see what the future collective bargaining agreement brings (see: Minnesota Vikings).

The collective bargaining agreement expired in March of this year. When the agreement lapsed, the salary cap fell to the roadside. Conversely, the salary floor ceased to exist as well. When the free agency period began this year, some players believed teams would be shelling out cash with no abandon because owners were finally free of the salary cap shackles. And yet, that’s not how it played out. In fact, many teams have decided not to extend their own players’ contracts into a 2011 season that may or may not occur.

At this point, one of the teams that is not extending the contracts of their own players is the Minnesota Vikings. Per Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Vikes have seven players who would be eligible for free agency at the end of the upcoming season.

Vikings who potentially could hit the market include defensive ends Ray Edwards and Brian Robison, linebackers Chad Greenway and Ben Leber, wide receiver Sidney Rice, kicker Ryan Longwell and quarterback Tarvaris Jackson.

Add to that list two players, Adrian Peterson and Visanthe Shiancoe, whose contracts do not expire for another two seasons but appear to be angling for new deals already. That’s a pretty long laundry list for Rick Spielman and the rest of the Vikings’ front office.

What is the correct way to look at an uncapped year and the possibility of a lockout in 2011? At this point no one knows, but the Vikings seem to be taking a cautious, wait-and-see approach. Is this the right approach? Ask me in 2011 because I may need a plethora of non-football related material to write about.

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