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3 Vikings Veterans That Could Be Cap Casualty Cuts This Offseason

Larry Rupp
Three Minnesota Vikings veterans that could be cap casualty cuts this offseason.
Three Minnesota Vikings veterans that could be cap casualty cuts this offseason. / Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings have missed the playoffs for two straight seasons now and head into the offseason with a number of holes to address on the roster. The team cannot sign any free agents without any money, though, and the Vikings are currently on pace to be $14.7 million over the salary cap limit.

The front office is going to have to find a way to create some cap space for the offseason. The simplest way to do so is deciding which players are replaceable and which ones are not. Here's a look at three Vikings veterans that could be cap casualty cuts this offseason.

Vikings Cap Casualties

1. Michael Pierce, DT

Michael Pierce was signed before the 2021 season to help improve Minnesota's rush defense. However, the Vikings allowed the seventh-most yards on the ground per game (130.7) and the second-most yards per carry (4.7). Keep in mind Pierce struggled to stay healthy, too, and missed nine games due to an elbow injury. His $10.5 million cap hit in 2022 suddenly looks like a major problem. Backup Armon Watts looks capable of stepping into a starting role and letting Pierce go would free up $6.5 million in cap space. That combination makes it hard to defend why Pierce should be on the roster come Week 1.

2. C.J. Ham, FB

Cutting a fan favorite is never a move the front office wants to make. C.J. Ham has been one of the best fullbacks in the league over the last few seasons, too. The only problem is that new head coach Kevin O'Connell never used a FB during his time running the Los Angeles Rams' offense. That makes Ham's $3.5 million cap hit in 2022 a bit hard to swallow. Cutting ties with Ham would save the Vikings nearly $2 million in cap space and also free up a roster spot to use wherever some more depth is needed.

3. Danielle Hunter, DE

Yes, Danielle Hunter is one of the best pass rushers in the league when healthy. Staying on the field has become tough for him, though. The two-time Pro Bowler has played in just seven games over the last two seasons, which makes it difficult for the Vikings to justify his massive contract. Hunter's $26.1 million cap hit is one of the largest on the roster and cutting him would free up $18.6 million. That is a lot of money that can be used to polish off a few weaknesses on the roster. The most likely scenario here is that Hunter takes a pay cut to stay in Minnesota. If that does not happen, the possibility of a huge payday elsewhere would be enough to warrant his release.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. 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.