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Updated: July 29th, 2011 4:18pm
NFL's transition rules allow Vikings to clear more cap space with cuts

NFL's transition rules allow Vikings to clear more cap space with cuts

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings can clear more salary-cap space than expected by cutting loose veterans.

An NFL spokesman confirmed on Friday afternoon there is no prorated bonus acceleration into this year's cap under the league's transition rules. Instead, all "dead money" will be pushed to 2012, similar to the function of the old June 1 rule.

That means the Vikings actually cleared $5.5 million in 2011 cap space with Thursday's release of safety Madieu Williams, not a little less than $3.5 million, and could clear a whopping $6,258,333 from this year's cap by cutting veteran receiver Bernard Berrian.

The roughly $2 million in remaining proration of Williams' signing bonus will count as dead money against the 2012 cap. But the short-term result is more money to spend in 2011.

The Vikings also released defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy on Thursday, saving $2.5 million in cash and 2011 cap space. That means they've cleared $8 million after entering the free-agent negotiating period about $4.8 million over the $120.375 million cap that goes into effect at 3:01 p.m. Aug. 4.

Teams also can "borrow" up to $3 million of cap room from a future year "to support veteran player costs," with approximately $3.5 million in what otherwise would be performance-based base base available to each team to support veteran players.

The contracts agreed to this week by receiver Devin Aromashodu, kicker Ryan Longwell and nose tackle Remi Ayodele, as well as quarterback Donovan McNabb's deal, couldn't be filed with league until 5 p.m. Friday. So, it was unclear exactly where the Vikings stood in relation to the cap, but it was believed they remained over the cap and still had not signed any of their rookie draft picks.

Citing a league source, Viking Update reported on Friday the Vikings have been alloted $5,990,486 to spend on rookies this year, with a minimum spend of $5,021,180 and the total four-year value of their contracts not to exceed $32,947,673.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero
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