Vikings: Analyzing Linval Joseph's contract

March, 13, 2014
Mar 13
12:05
AM ET
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Vikings' deal with defensive tackle Linval Joseph is the second five-year contract they've handed out since Sunday. But like defensive end Everson Griffen's deal, Joseph's contract won't leave the Vikings with a big bill to pay in the final years of the contract.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, the five-year, $31.5 million deal includes $12.5 million of guaranteed money, but all of that will be paid by the Vikings in the next two seasons. Like they did with Matt Cassel, the Vikings socked more upfront money into a roster bonus -- which counts completely against their 2014 cap -- than a signing bonus, which must be prorated over the life of the deal. They'll give Joseph a $2.4 million roster bonus on Monday, and his $3.5 million base salary for 2014 is fully guaranteed. He's also got a $3 million signing bonus, which will count $600,000 against the cap for each of the next five seasons.

In 2015, Joseph has a $3.9 million base salary, and $3.6 million of that is fully guaranteed. That means the Vikings will have spent all $12.5 million of guaranteed money by next year, and would have just a $1.8 million cap hit if they decided to cut him after 2015, with the cap charge decreasing by $600,000 in each of the deal's final two years. The final year of Joseph's deal includes a $1 million roster bonus, payable on the third day of the league year.

Joseph will carry a $6.6 million cap charge in 2014; while the Vikings' one-year deals with Joe Berger and Jasper Brinkley haven't hit the books yet, they're already down to just under $20 million of cap space. Assuming the Vikings would need around $5 million for draft picks, and factoring in money for Berger and Brinkley, the Vikings probably have around $12 million-$13 million left to play with, and a few holes left to fill. That could be enough to sign a couple more players without asking someone to restructure their deal, but the Vikings probably can't afford too many more big-ticket items.

Ben Goessling

ESPN Minnesota Vikings reporter

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