Allow Vikings general manager Rick Spielman to say it again, as he did Wednesday on NFL Network: The Vikings are taking a "slow and methodical" approach to free agency.
Methodical is fine. Slow is risky.
Tuesday, the opening day of free agency, was all about re-signing their own unrestricted free agents – at least those they felt were worth resigning to mid-level contracts. But while the Vikings waited on the sidelines Wednesday, a couple of desirable wide receivers found employment with other teams.
Dwayne Bowe before free agency and Mike Wallace on the day free agency opened helped set the market for the top-of-line free agent receivers.
Bowe re-signed with the Kansas City Chiefs for five years, $56 million with $26 million guaranteed, including a $15 million signing bonus. Wallace left the Pittsburgh Steelers for the Miami Dolphins, who gave him a five-year, $60 million contract with $30 million guaranteed.
When the Vikings traded Percy Harvin, the Seahawks extended his contract and turned it into a six-year, $67 million contract with $25.5 million guaranteed.
But after those big-money deals Tuesday, the market cool considerably. The second tier of receivers got about half the per-year money.
Danny Amendola signed a five-year, $31 million contract that includes $10 million in guarantees with the New England Patriots, who lost Wes Welker to the Denver Broncos to a two-year, $12 million deal. Those are similar to the deal Brian Hartline signed with the Dolphins before free agency started – five years, $30.775 million with a $12.5 million guaranteed.
That could help set the market for other receivers still unsigned, including Packers free agent Greg Jennings, who is visiting the Vikings Thursday. Jennings' contract likely will fall somewhere between the top deals and those signed by Amendola, Welker and Hartline.
The quarterback market is also shaping up, although in this case it is for players expected to be backups.
The Cardinals gave Drew Stanton a three-year deal worth $20 million with $3 million in guarantees. The Vikings were one of three teams that showed an interest in Hoyer, he said, but the Cardinals gave him the promise that he could compete for a starting job, something the Vikings aren't will to offer any quarterback they sign.
The Cardinals gave Brian Hoyer a second-round tender, all but ensuring they will keep him to compete with Stanton.
The Kansas City Chiefs signed free-agent QB Chase Daniel to a three-year deal that included a $3 million signing bonus, but it is voidable by Daniel if he throws for more than 2,000 yards and 12 touchdowns in a season.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
Mid-level markets being set at WR, QB
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