2003 Salaries Leave Questions

In Tuesday's USA Today, the payrolls for all NFL teams were analyzed, leaving one hard-to-answer question -- how much did the Vikings pay Everett Lindsay last year?

Every year, USA Today takes a look at how much money is spent on salaries by NFL teams. In 2003, for the first time, the salaries of offensive players topped the $1 billion mark, accounting for 53 percent of all payrolls (defense accounted for $980 million).

Included in that was a player-by-player listing, which showed that, as a team, the Vikings had the third-highest payroll in the NFL in 2003. Their $85.5 million paid out in salaries and bonuses was behind only the Saints ($95.1 million) and the Buccaneers ($88.1 million).

But perhaps the most curious aspect of the story was how much it was claimed Everett Lindsay was paid. The listings included players' salaries and their cap numbers. For example, thanks to getting a big chunk of his signing bonus, Daunte Culpepper was paid $12.4 million last year, but his salary cap number was $4.9 million. In contrast, Randy Moss made $5.1 million, but because of a pro-rated share of his signing bonus, his cap number was $7.9 million.

But right in the middle of those numbers sits Everett Lindsay, who the paper claimed was paid a base salary of $6.75 million, which also served as his cap number. For a guy who wasn't a starter, $675,000 would seem to make more sense, but the paper stands behind its figures.

If they are correct, it begs the question why would Lindsay be paid that kind of money -- twice as much at Matt Birk and Mike Rosenthal combined? VU is checking into the background, but our guess is more that this is a typo and not legitimate. If it is, more answers will need to be forthcoming.

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