Jon Dahlin/Viking Update

Minnesota Vikings free agent Captain Munnerlyn has player he wants to be compensated like

Minnesota Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn has a player he thinks his free-agent contract should come close to matching. That probably won’t happen with the Vikings.

The initial divide between where the Minnesota Vikings are and how nickel cornerback Captain Munnerlyn wants to be compensated might be too large to bridge in the initial stages of free agency.

Munnerlyn has a comparable contract he is using as his target line for money.

“I look at Buster Skrine from New York. Me and my agent, we had a conversation about it. I was like, ‘He’s a small guy. He’s a nickel. He got paid pretty good in New York,’” Munnerlyn said.  “The money is going up each and every year, so I feel like I’m a guy that can contribute in the locker room on and off the field. I’m an older guy. I’m a veteran and I’ve still got a lot of football left in me.”

The salary cap has gone up by at least $10 million each of the last four years and the Vikings have nearly $40 million in cap space, but they have bigger priorities on the offensive side of the ball as well as future contract extensions to consider.

Munnerlyn isn’t looking for a one- or two-year contract, but the Vikings might not be the team to give him a longer deal with Mackensie Alexander developing in the wings.

Skrine signed a four-year, $25 million contract with the New York Jets two years ago, including a $5 million signing bonus with $13 million guaranteed. His cap hit in 2017 is $8.5 million.

When Munnerlyn joined the Vikings three years ago in his first foray in free agency, he signed a three-year, $11.25 million contract with only a $1 million signing bonus and $4.45 million guaranteed.

He’s looking for far more from his last contract to sign while he is still in his 20s.

“Where can you get an eight-year veteran at 28 years old coming in that’s been through everything that can help your football team?” he said. “Eight-year veterans are normally going to be 31, 32. I’m 28 years old, still in my prime. I’ve still got a lot of football left in me. You’ve got to look at that factor. At the same time, I can’t base it just off his contract. I just want to be compensated for my play. I do feel like I’m a No. 1 guy at my position and I want to be paid like it.”

Skrine played in more than 800 snaps in 2016, but Pro Football Focus gave him a grade of only 53.3, ranking 88th among the position. Munnerlyn played in almost 200 fewer snaps but earned a top-50 cornerback grade of 75.5.

“I’m a guy that’s a firm believer that I’ve put in work. The first year I probably didn’t play as well as I wanted to play outside and inside, but I felt like I locked in, I focused and played much better in my second year,” he said. “Last year, injuries kind of slowed me down a little bit.”

He suffered a high ankle sprain in November that was supposed to keep him out for at least a month, maybe two. He was back after missing only one game and playing through the pain.

“I don’t think people realize how tough a guy I am with the same situation with Harrison [Smith]. He wasn’t supposed to play, but we were trying to put our football team in the best position to win football games and I felt like me being there was the best thing for the football team,” Munnerlyn said. “Statistically, I didn’t have the year that I wanted. I didn’t record an interception. I haven’t done that in a long time. I still held my own, I still played well. You didn’t hear my name called a lot and that’s a good thing at defensive back. At the same time, I held my own, I made plays. I want to say I accounted for just one touchdown in 15 games. That’s pretty good.”

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