3 Vikings Players Who Could Be Traded or Cut if the Salary Cap Drops in 2021

By michael obermuller
Rick Spielman has already begun the process of shedding cap, don't expect him to stop now.
Rick Spielman has already begun the process of shedding cap, don't expect him to stop now. / Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
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Recent news around the NFL is that the global pandemic could affect the salary cap in 2021. If the cap does drop, teams will have to adjust accordingly. For the Minnesota Vikings, some of those adjustments have already occurred.

Few teams made as much of a concerted effort to get younger as the Vikes have this offseason, as they totally re-worked the defensive side. However, chances are general manager Rick Spielman is not done with his transformation. Here are three more Vikings who may not make it to 2021.

3. Mike Hughes, CB

2020 might be Mike Hughes last opportunity in purple.
2020 might be Mike Hughes last opportunity in purple. / Rob Leiter/Getty Images

A late first round pick in 2018, Mike Hughes has been a bust throughout his first two seasons in the NFL. This year Minnesota drafted a total of five players into its secondary, starting with first round pick Jeff Gladney. Injuries have cost Hughes major developmental time (first an ACL and then a neck issue) that he will not get back. Now he has loads of competition going into his third year. The NFL has a short memory sometimes, and if the corner does not prove himself fast, he might find himself looking for a job after 2020.

2. Shamar Stephen, DT

Shamar Stephen's cost outweighs his value in 2021.
Shamar Stephen's cost outweighs his value in 2021. / Leon Halip/Getty Images

This move would fit the narrative of the Vikings offseason. An inordinate amount of veterans walked in free agency, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. Some had no interest in returning, others were cap casualties. Shamar Stephen is a rotational defensive tackle who would make a little over $5 million in 2021. If cut prior, it would only cost the Vikings approximately $1.33 million.

1. Kyle Rudolph, TE

The red zone threat still has one year to prove why he should be on the roster in 2021.
The red zone threat still has one year to prove why he should be on the roster in 2021. / Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

A team leader for quite some time, Kyle Rudolph's locker room influence has helped make up for his sub-par play. Minnesota already began his replacement strategy when they drafted Irv Smith Jr. in 2019. The young tight end is learning from the veteran for the time being, but it's hard to see any way where the Vikings keep Rudolph long-term (outside of a massive pay cut). Rudolph would carry a 9.45 million cap hit in 2021. The Vikings would save over $22 million across the following three seasons.


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Michael Obermuller is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Michael Obermuller also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username king_mizzard. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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