Minnesota Vikings 14th in cap space, but ...

The Minnesota Vikings have money to spend, ranked 14th in salary-cap space before the start of free agency, but they are also keeping an eye on future contracts.

With $37.678 million in cap space as NFL free agency officially opens Thursday at 3 p.m. Central, the Minnesota Vikings are 14th in the NFL in that financial measure.

However, the Vikings’ available space will be brought down when WR Adam Thielen either signs his restricted free agent tender – the Vikings placed a second-round tender on him for nearly $2.8 million – and Jeremiah Sirles already signed his $690,000 tender.

Add to that the Vikings haven’t signed any of their unrestricted free agents yet and the cap number will continue to decrease.

It doesn’t mean the team can’t or won’t be active in free agency, as they have shown interest in numerous players, but one of their top targets, offensive tackle Ricky Wagner, is expected to sign with the Detroit Lions, ESPN reported. The Lions had even less cap space than the Vikings, but clearly they were more aggressive in their pursuit of Wagner.

Minnesota General Manager Rick Spielman cautioned before free agency started that the team has to keep in mind numerous players whose contracts will be up after the 2017 season and they would like to at least explore getting some of them signed to an extension before they hit the open market next year.

At the top of that list are QB Sam Bradford and CB Xavier Rhodes, and both of those players will cost in excess of $10 million annually, with Bradford likely around the $20 million mark.

For now, the Vikings have plenty to focus on more immediately, but they aren’t going to lose sight of the long-term financial picture.

Here is the league-wide cap information from the NFLPA before the start of free agency.

TEAMNO.CARRYOVER2017 CAPCAP SPACE
Cleveland Browns 65 $50,123,269 $112,969,941 $104,153,328
San Francisco 49ers 59 $38,708,916 $115,073,027 $90,635,889
Jacksonville Jaguars 68 $39,314,310 $138,739,267 $67,575,043
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 60 $5,330,779 $106,159,726 $66,171,053
New England Patriots 49 $5,292,335 $110,326,992 $61,965,343
Tennessee Titans 56 $24,046,522 $129,549,758 $61,496,764
Indianapolis Colts 63 $6,614,106 $120,737,627 $52,876,479
Chicago Bears 59 $8,103,197 $123,807,508 $51,295,689
Denver Broncos 56 $7,243,248 $132,137,449 $42,105,799
Cincinnati Bengals 58 $6,578,866 $131,705,526 $41,873,340
Oakland Raiders 58 $8,000,000 $133,583,512 $41,416,488
Miami Dolphins 50 $8,363,708 $134,313,420 $41,050,288
Green Bay Packers 47 $7,984,687 $134,908,870 $40,075,817
Minnesota Vikings 59 $400,184 $129,722,011 $37,678,173
Washington Redskins 64 $15,055,131 $147,636,587 $34,418,544
Carolina Panthers 63 $13,208,020 $147,551,257 $32,656,763
Detroit Lions 56 $4,725,644 $140,675,402 $31,050,242
New Orleans Saints 63 $5,754,000 $145,329,546 $27,424,454
Seattle Seahawks 59 $2,065,865 $143,067,613 $25,998,252
New York Jets 69 $371,487 $142,946,332 $24,425,155
Houston Texans 63 $4,935,924 $148,465,383 $23,470,541
Los Angeles Rams 64 $304,311 $147,441,530 $19,862,781
Pittsburgh Steelers 77 $3,269,367 $151,605,364 $18,664,003
Arizona Cardinals 56 $4,405,068 $154,433,745 $16,971,323
Buffalo Bills 52 $2,837,222 $154,233,389 $15,603,833
Atlanta Falcons 55 $926,541 $152,660,518 $15,266,023
Baltimore Ravens 54 $2,553,126 $155,751,169 $13,801,957
New York Giants 60 $1,800,000 $155,679,995 $13,120,005
Philadelphia Eagles 67 $7,933,869 $166,476,645 $8,457,224
Los Angeles Chargers 59 $113,693 $162,038,218 $5,075,475
Kansas City Chiefs 68 $5,002,168 $167,154,461 $4,847,707
Dallas Cowboys 64 $2,401,553 $166,121,782 $3,279,771
AVERAGE   $9,180,222 $140,718,862 $35,461,361

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