Vikes 'Find' $14M, Now $33M Under Cap

Thanks to the maneuvering of money by the Vikings capologists, the Vikings will enter the free agent period tomorrow with a whopping $33.3 million in available salary cap space.

From the time Red McCombs bought the Vikings, they were in what many termed salary-cap hell. After signing many of its own star players to long-term contracts following the successful 1998 season, the Vikings spent the next four years digging out of their cap problems. Suffice it to say, they've dug out completely.

Thanks to some creative shuffling of money, the Vikings are now $33 million under the 2004 salary cap -- $6 million more than any other team in the NFL this year and the most money for a non-expansion team in the salary cap era.

An additional $14 million in unreached incentive bonuses was rolled into the 2004 cap, moving the Vikings from $19 million under the cap to more than $33 million.

While the team has given no indication that they will be free spenders in free agency, the movement of the money would seem to be more of an indicator that it is probable that the Vikes are keeping quiet about their true intentions and will in fact be players in free agency this year.

* Former Viking John Randle announced his retirement Monday, a move that saved the Seahawks about $4 million in cap room.
* No progress was made Monday in attempts to sign Jim Kleinsasser. A final round of talks before free agency begins is expected today.
* The Vikings have stopped talks with DT Fred Robbins, who will be allowed to explore free agency in hopes of landing a starting job. Robbins lost his starting job last year when Kevin Williams was moved from DE to DT.
* Former Viking Tyrone Carter was among the cuts made by the Jets Monday to free up more cap space.

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