Vikings: Building a 2013 Free Agent Shopping List Around Projected Cap Space

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Vikings: Building a 2013 Free Agent Shopping List Around Projected Cap Space
Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE
The Minnesota Vikings threw $25 million at tight end John Carlson last off-season. So far it hasn't worked out.

Last offseason was relatively quiet for the Minnesota Vikings.

Their biggest signing was John Carlson. They offered the former Seattle Seahawks tight end $25 million over five years.

This offseason the Vikings will probably stay relatively quiet again. That's because much of the roster is filled with youngsters who the franchise hopes will develop into playoff-caliber players (many already are). 

According to my Bleacher Report colleague Tim Arcand, the Minnesota Vikings have 16 players who will be free agents this offseason, freeing up roughly $13.9 million. That leaves Minnesota's projected 2013 salary cap at $101.6 million. 

The 2013 NFL salary cap will be $120 million and teams are forced to spend at least 88.8 percent of that amount, or $107.1 million. So the Vikings will have to spend a minimum of roughly $5.5 million this offseason.

That means Minnesota has, at max, $18.4 million to spend in free agency.

The Vikings' notable free agents are Jasper Brinkley, Erin Henderson, Kevin Williams, Jerome Simpson and Phil Loadholt. Depending on how the market values those players, it is logical that Minnesota would try to re-sign all of them.. Some of the minimum $5.5 million will be spent on those players. But Minnesota will likely re-sign other players who are scheduled to be free agents (here's's list).

Given the roster's makeup and the likely free agents, Minnesota's offseason position needs are at wide receiver, middle linebacker, outside linebacker and tight end.

Each of the following slides will be dedicated to one of the those positions and will feature a handful of players Minnesota could be interested in signing.

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