It's officially Draft Day throughout the NFL and all of the rampant speculation that we've been mulling over for the past month is about to come to fruition...or maybe some other kind of fruition that we didn't expect.
One thing that we do know though, is this...The Minnesota Vikings are in a bit of a bind right now.
With an estimated $7 million needed to sign this year's draft class, the Minnesota Vikings are presently sitting with only $1.89 million in salary cap space. For those of you who aren't good at math, they don't have enough money to sign the rookies that they're about to draft. That means that something has to give, and in the middle of the NFL Draft, specifically early in the draft might be a good time for that something to be proposed.
With a deficit of just over $5 million around the corner, they'll need to likely cut ties in some way with a veteran player. This could be an outright cut or it could come through trade for future assets or picks in this year's draft. Below are four veteran Vikings names that we should all be paying attention to as the draft kicks off tonight.
TE Kyle Rudolph
He might be one of the most beloved Minnesota Vikings on roster right now, but a business is a business is a business and if one of the stud tight ends in this draft falls to the Vikings at pick #18, Kyle might be expendable and teams like the New England Patriots still have a need for a TE.
DE Everson Griffen
Ev has been through a lot over the past year and credit to him and his supporting cast, he's triumphed on the other side and has returned to the team. He restructured his contract over the offseason but only cut about $2 million in cap space this year. If someone were interested in his services or if the Vikings simply needed to free up some cash, Griffen might be a candidate for trade or cut.
CB Xavier Rhodes
Rhodes was a name that we heard pop up during the offseason as a veteran cornerback that might have value on the trade market and offer the Vikings relief on the cap this year. Rhodes had a down year last season and is making a good chunk of change. Teams with more cap space might be interested in his services and there are already rumors of teams who are interested in veteran CBs.
CB Trae Waynes
If Rhodes is too spendy or you're looking to go even younger, Trae Waynes might be an option. Waynes is scheduled to make around $9 million this year on the 5th year of his rookie deal and has really come on over the past two seasons.
Nothing is a sure bet on draft night, but it's usually an interesting evening/weekend and Rick Spielman is often more active than other GMs. Stay tuned and listen in to KAFN 100.3 FM starting at 6:30pm tonight for full draft coverage from U.S. Bank Stadium!