Monday, January 17, 2022

Vikings veteran cornerback turns down contract amid uncertain offseason: report

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The decision on the Minnesota Vikings’ next general manager and head coach will be critical to the future of the franchise.

But until that decision is concrete, players could be uncertain about their future in Minnesota.

One in particular is cornerback Tye Smith, a veteran entering his seventh season who signed as a free agent last summer and has played five games this season.

The Vikings recently signed futures contracts for eight players on Monday and made an offer to Smith, who had not yet signed the deal. He said he wanted to “wait and see what happens to the new general manager and coach before possibly re-signing,” Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson said.

Players who have agreed futures contracts counting on the 90-strong training camp roster include: linebacker sophomore Tuf Borland (undrafted, Ohio State), third-year safety Myles Dorn (undrafted, North Carolina), Third-year receiver Trishton Jackson (undrafted, Syracuse), second-year receiver Myron Mitchell (undrafted. UAB), fifth-year cornerback Parry Nickerson (round six, Tulane), fifth-year tackle Timon Parris (undrafted, Stony Brook) for the second year in a row, AJ Rose Jr. (undrafted, Kentucky) and TJ Smith for the second year (undrafted, Arkansas).

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With the Vikings defense overhaul not going to plan in 2021, Minnesota could see another mass exodus of veteran talent.

Four-time linebacker Anthony Barr has already hinted that his last game may have been with the Vikings. Barr’s contract was restructured last offseason, allowing him to reach free agency in 2022. As the first draft pick of the Mike Zimmer era, Barr’s loyalty to Minnesota may have deserted the former head coach, who was fired Monday.

In addition to Barr, several other starters could reach free agency this offseason.

Veteran cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Mackensie Alexander, linebacker Nick Vigil, defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson and safety Xavier Woods are all poised to achieve the full free hand this offseason after signing a one-year contract with the Vikings.

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While the Vikings should find a trainer who can help the Vikings talented offense achieve their potential, defense should not be overlooked and needs to be rebuilt.

Minnesota must work out a contract extension before day three of the league year or trade Danielle Hunter to avoid paying him his full $18 million signing bonus. If the two sides reach an agreement, the Vikings will have Pro Bowl talent at every level of defense in Hunter, linebacker Eric Kendricks and Harrison Smith.

Defensive end and cornerback should be a high priority this offseason, and both have been the most frequently drafted positions in mock drafts in the NFL. The Vikings should also shop in the free hand, but don’t have significant scope to make a splash move.

Kirk Cousins ​​will continue to be a controversial topic of conversation this offseason as he brings a $45 million cap hit to the team’s treasury next season. A contract extension or trade could help give Minnesota the cap needed to be a free agency buyer.

Kirk Cousins ​​will continue to be a controversial topic of conversation this offseason as he brings a $45 million cap hit to the team’s treasury next season. A contract extension or trade could help give Minnesota the cap needed to be a free agency buyer.



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