The Vikings have an estimated salary-cap space of $41.2 million, according to OverTheCap.com. They increased their cap space by $6 million with the recent release of tight end John Carlson and nose tackle Letroy Guion.
They've used some of the cap space by re-signing quarterback Matt Cassel, cornerback/punt returner Marcus Sherels, and according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport (h/t Chris Wesseling of NFL.com), defensive end Everson Griffen. Griffen's deal is reported to be worth $42 million over five years.
While these are very good signings for the team, don't expect the Vikings to sign any of the top-rated players in free agency. Recent history indicates that general manager Rick Spielman prefers to make waves through the NFL draft. In a report from the Star Tribune last month, he indicated the goal is to compile at least 10 draft picks.
He's done pretty well recently with 29 draftees over the last three years.
The bottom line is that with a new stadium on the horizon, the Vikings need to improve, and Spielman needs to make some moves to improve the team. Last season the Vikings finished 5-10-1 with a defense that ranked near the bottom of almost every statistical category.
That's where the emphasis must start for Spielman and new head coach Mike Zimmer.
Here's a look at some of the current free-agent rumors swirling around the Vikings and whether they are buying into them or selling out and going another direction. With how quickly Spielman and the Vikings have been moving so far, don't be surprised if most of these rumors are resolved in a matter of days—in one way or another.