The franchise tag window is officially open for NFL teams, which means they will have the opportunity to administer the tag for at least one pending free agent. Who will it be for the Minnesota Vikings? It must be someone, right?
Good morning! Anybody?
The cricket sound is coming out of Eagan right now, and it will likely remain that way until NFL free agency.
Of course, the Vikings have franchise tag options with players like linebacker Anthony Barr and cornerback Patrick Peterson. But they’re also a cap-strapped team that doesn’t necessarily have the luxury of pinning an expensive one-year placeholder on a player they hope to keep on their roster.
The cost to keep Peterson on such a deal is estimated to be around $17.5 million and $18.5 million to keep Barr. It makes absolutely no financial sense for the team to pay that kind of money for a player who will be over 30 before the 2022 season.
Newly hired general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah isn’t looking to rock the boat with that kind of mistake upfront for the Vikings. He’s got bigger fish to fry right now with free agency around the corner and the 2022 NFL Draft is fast approaching.
The team also needs to tackle the elephant in the room at some point, which is quarterback Kirk Cousins’ expensive contract.
Players like Peterson and Barr will have the opportunity to test the market and potentially come back to a new deal. Peterson has certainly enjoyed his time in Minnesota and he has already declared his interest in returning.
Meanwhile, when it looked like Barr had played his last snap for the Vikings, head coach Kevin O’Connell turned it all around by hiring Ed Donatell as defensive coordinator and changing the team’s overall defensive composition. . The opportunity to play on a 3-4 base defense would greatly benefit Barr and could potentially put him in position to have his best season yet as a Viking.
Whether he is interested in bringing him back or not remains to be seen.
But the franchise tag must stay under lock and key until the Vikings have a real reason to use it. This reason could show up in 2023 and beyond, but it clearly doesn’t show up in the 2022 offseason.