Vikes Move Money Into '08

The NFL Players Association is likely going to be giving a long look at the contract extension signed by Pat Williams, because part of the deal pushes as much as $13.2 million from the Vikings' 2007 salary cap into 2008 with the "Not-so-likely-to-be-achieved" incentive program.

The Vikings are at it again when it comes to ruffling feathers in New York.

Last year, the team got a lot of ink for putting the infamous "poison pill" in the contract of Steve Hutchinson, a clause that made it virtually impossible for the Seahawks to match the deal from a good business sense. But that wasn't the first of such massaging of the salary cap and working around allowable loopholes in the league's contract rules.

A similar ploy was used when the team signed Antoine Winfield. Convinced that Winfield would likely play out the term of the contract he signed, instead of giving him a signing bonus, which would be pro-rated for each year of the deal, they gave him a roster bonus – which all took effect in his first year with the Vikings and came off the books after one year.

It would appear the Vikings are at it again. Viewed by some to be as much as $30 million under the 2008 salary cap, the Vikings made sure they have at least a partial nest egg heading into next year's free agency. As part of the recently signed Pat Williams deal, the Vikings have pushed $13.2 million in cap space into 2008 by tying it into what are called "likely to be earned" incentives, according to the web site

While it's not unusual for teams to institute such types of incentives into deals, they typically aren't of this huge an amount. The $13.2 million, which is tied to tackles, sacks and interceptions, has virtually no chance of being met. If they are, not only would Big Pat be a Pro Bowler again, he would likely be league MVP – making them not so much in the "likely to be earned" column.

Few teams have done a better job of working the salary cap to their own advantage than the Vikings and, from the looks of things, that hasn't changed.

* When the first injury report comes out today, don't be surprised to see three Vikings running backs – Chester Taylor, Tony Richardson and Naufahu Tahi – all listed. Mewelde Moore, who was inactive Sunday for the first time since his rookie season, left the Vikings with just two halfbacks on the active roster for the opener. When Taylor went down, Tahi replaced him and he too got injured. Don't expect to see Moore as a healthy scratch again any time soon.
* The TV numbers are in from Sunday's game and the Vikings-Falcons game garnered a 28.0 rating and a 62 market share for its game Sunday afternoon. The local Twins Cities FOX affiliate had to buy the final 400 tickets to make the game be televised locally – not a bad return on their investment.
* The Vikings were apparently among the teams trying to sign Reche Caldwell, who was cut by the Patriots last week. He signed with the Redskins Tuesday.
* David Herron, the Vikings linebacker that the Patriots threatened to – and then did – sign off of waivers from the Vikes as "retribution" for taking TE Garrett Mills, was released by the team Tuesday. Don't be surprised if, when he clears waivers, the Vikings bring him back to the practice squad if nobody else offers him more money for an active roster spot.

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