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Updated: September 22nd, 2011 9:37pm
Pelissero: Salary cap breakdown confirms Adrian Peterson was priority

Pelissero: Salary cap breakdown confirms Adrian Peterson was priority

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by Tom Pelissero

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- One of the great misconceptions surrounding the Minnesota Vikings' post-lockout plans was the idea linebacker Chad Greenway was the priority for a contract extension ahead of halfback Adrian Peterson.

It all stemmed from remarks on the opening day of training camp from Vikings coach Leslie Frazier, who said the team was "in the process of trying to negotiate a long-term deal with Chad" and "eventually" would try to do the same with Peterson, too.

In reality, the only difference at that point was the Vikings were deeper into the process with Greenway, there was no mandate his deal needed to get done first and Peterson's formidable agent, Ben Dogra, privately received assurances his client was a priority.

"They didn't have to make it clear to me," Peterson said on Thursday. "I wasn't sensitive about that at all. I'm confident in my game and what I bring to this organization.

"Wherever that came from, it may have been blown out of proportion. Hey, I was hoping Chad got 30 million guaranteed. That wasn't bothering me at all."

On Sept. 5, Greenway received a five-year extension worth nearly $41 million, including around $20 million guaranteed. Five days later, Peterson got around $36 million guaranteed on a seven-year deal worth up to $100 million -- although that final number, like most on long-term NFL extensions, was mainly just for show.

"I knew one way or the other, I was going to get paid," Peterson said. "I wasn't worried about anything. That's childish to me -- 'Greenway is the priority, so you don't care about me.' That's childish."

One theory on getting Greenway's deal done first was the salary-cap situation faced by the Vikings, who were as strapped as any NFL team when the new, reduced $120.375 million cap kicked in on Aug. 4. If Peterson's cap number ended up rising, the Vikings may have needed the extra space created by erasing Greenway's $10.091 million franchise tender from the books.

That perception, too, was incorrect. Peterson took a cut in his base salary (from $10.72 million to $8.25 million) to facilitate the hit for the prorated portion of his signing bonus, dropping his cap number to $12.705 million -- still the highest on the team, but $70,000 less than it would have been had he played out the final year of his rookie contract.

Prior to cutting defensive end Adrian Awasom on Monday, the Vikings were $4,324,464.88 under their adjusted salary cap of $123,930,000, according to an NFL source with access to salary data. They were using 96.51% of their allotted space, which includes $3,555,000 in adjustments.

The Vikings' total cap number of $119,605,535.12 consisted of $118,933,668.18 for players on the active roster (53), practice squad (eight), injured reserve (two) and suspended list (one), plus 26 "dead money" hits for released/waived players totaling $671,866.94.

The following is a player-by-player breakdown of the Vikings' cap numbers, current as of Sunday morning and organized by descending value:

Current contracts

RB Adrian Peterson $12,705,000.00
DE Jared Allen $11,562,782.00
LB Chad Greenway $7,200,000.00
CB Antoine Winfield $6,750,000.00
OL Steve Hutchinson $6,730,000.00
DT Kevin Williams $6,710,783.65 (reinstated from suspended list on Monday)
LB E.J. Henderson $5,510,000.00
QB Donovan McNabb $5,050,000.00
TE Visanthe Shiancoe $4,200,000.00
CB Cedric Griffin $3,900,000.00
OL Anthony Herrera $3,583,333.00
TE Jimmy Kleinsasser $3,000,000.00
DE Brian Robison $2,854,666.00
WR Bernard Berrian $2,833,333.00
PK Ryan Longwell $1,875,000.00
DT Remi Ayodele $1,873,333.00
QB Christian Ponder $1,847,036.00
S Husain Abdullah $1,835,000.00
WR Percy Harvin $1,783,800.00
WR Michael Jenkins $1,666,666.00
OL Charlie Johnson $1,600,000.00
P Chris Kluwe $1,513,333.00
LB Erin Henderson $1,200,000.00
DT Fred Evans $1,100,000.00
S Eric Frampton $1,033,333.00
CB Chris Cook $1,025,000.00
S Tyrell Johnson $967,250.00
WR Greg Camarillo $925,000.00
TE Kyle Rudolph $841,791.00
OL Cullen Loeffler $830,000.00
OL Phil Loadholt $827,500.00
RB Toby Gerhart $821,000.00
OL Joe Berger $747,499.53
CB Asher Allen $706,375.00
DT Letroy Guion $644,175.00
OL John Sullivan $624,050.00
RB Lorenzo Booker $600,000.00
LB Xavier Adibi $600,000.00
DE Everson Griffen $585,000.00
LB Jasper Brinkley $571,500.00 (injured reserve)
S Jamarca Sanford $537,318.00
LB Kenny Onatolu $526,668.00
WR Devin Aromashodu $525,000.00
DE Adrian Awasom $525,000.00 (waived on Monday)
DE Christian Ballard $476,888.00
QB Joe Webb $473,128.00
OL Patrick Brown $450,000.00
CB Brandon Burton $417,250.00
OL DeMarcus Love $400,775.00
S Mistral Raymond $399,483.00
OL Brandon Fusco $398,556.00
DE D'Aundre Reed $387,563.00
TE Allen Reisner $375,000.00
CB Marcus Sherels $375,000.00
LB Larry Dean $375,000.00
OL Scott Kooistra $288,000.00 (injured reserve)
WR Emmanuel Arceneaux $96,900.00 (practice squad)
WR Stephen Burton $96,900.00 (practice squad)
RB Ryan D'Imperio $96,900.00 (practice squad)
OL Chris DeGeare $96,900.00 (practice squad)
CB Domonique Johnson $96,900.00 (practice squad)
RB Caleb King $96,900.00 (practice squad)
LB Tyrone McKenzie $96,900.00 (practice squad)
DE Cedric McKinley $91,200.00 (practice squad)

Dead money

OL Bryant McKinnie $250,000.00 (workout bonus)
OL Ryan Cook $62,500.00 (prorated portion of signing bonus)
S Madieu Williams $50,000.00 (half of workout bonus)
TE Jeff Dugan $50,000.00 (workout bonus)
OL Chris DeGeare $41,200.00 (prorated portion of signing bonus)
CB Cord Parks $30,353.00 (injury settlement)
OL Jon Cooper $30,882.35 (prorated portion of base salary)
LB Ross Homan $29,420.00 (prorated portion of signing bonus)
OL Seth Olsen $26,470.59 (prorated portion of base salary)
WR Emmanuel Arceneaux $25,000.00 (prorated portion of signing bonus)
WR Stephen Burton $18,975.00 (prorated portion of signing bonus)
WR Andre Holmes $14,000.00 (reporting bonus)
CB Devon Torrence $9,000.00 (reporting bonus)
RB Matt Asiata $5,700.00 (prorated portion of practice squad salary)
DE Cedric McKinley $5,700.00 (prorated portion of practice squad salary)
CB Ryan Hill $5,000.00 (reporting bonus)
CB Marcell Gipson $4,000.00 (reporting bonus)
DE David Akinniyi $2,500.00 (reporting bonus)
TE Allen Reisner $2,500.00 (reporting bonus)
RB Caleb King $1,666.00 (prorated portion of signing bonus)
OL Conan Amituanai $1,500.00 (reporting bonus)
OL Rod Huntley $1,500.00 (reporting bonus)
RB Matt Asiata $1,000.00 (reporting bonus)
TE Ed Barham $1,000.00 (reporting bonus)
OL Byron Isom $1,000.00 (reporting bonus)
DE Cedric McKinley $1,000.00 (reporting bonus)

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 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
In this story: Husain Abdullah, Xavier Adibi, David Akinniyi, Asher Allen, Jared Allen, Conan Amituanai, Emmanuel Arceneaux, Devin Aromashodu, Matt Asiata, Adrian Awasom, Remi Ayodele, Christian Ballard, Ed Barham, Joe Berger, Bernard Berrian, Lorenzo Booker, Jasper Brinkley, Patrick Brown, Brandon Burton, Stephen Burton, Greg Camarillo, Chris Cook, Ryan Cook, Jon Cooper, Ryan D'Imperio, Larry Dean, Chris DeGeare, Jeff Dugan, Fred Evans, Eric Frampton, Leslie Frazier, Brandon Fusco, Toby Gerhart, Marcell Gipson, Chad Greenway, Everson Griffen, Cedric Griffin, Letroy Guion, Percy Harvin, Erin Henderson, E.J. Henderson, Anthony Herrera, Ryan Hill, Andre Holmes, Ross Homan, Rod Huntley, Steve Hutchinson, Byron Isom, Michael Jenkins, Domonique Johnson, Tyrell Johnson, Charlie Johnson, Caleb King, Jimmy Kleinsasser, Chris Kluwe, Scott Kooistra, Phil Loadholt, Cullen Loeffler, Ryan Longwell, DeMarcus Love, Tyrone McKenzie, Cedric McKinley, Bryant McKinnie, Donovan McNabb, Seth Olsen, Kenny Onatolu, Cord Parks, Adrian Peterson, Christian Ponder, Mistral Raymond, D'Aundre Reed, Allen Reisner, Brian Robison, Kyle Rudolph, Jamarca Sanford, Marcus Sherels, Visanthe Shiancoe, John Sullivan, Devon Torrence, Joe Webb, Kevin Williams, Madieu Williams, Antoine Winfield