Last year the Minnesota Vikings announced contract extensions for Xavier Rhodes, Everson Griffen and Linval Joseph near the beginning of training camp. As we hit the down period between minicamp and training camp, the Vikings will presumably be working toward deals with 2019 free agents Stefon Diggs, Anthony Barr and Danielle Hunter.
Recent contracts signed by comparable players generally set the bar for the player’s asking price. So with that said, here are three contracts at each position that could come into play over the next six weeks of talks. Important note: Not all the contracts listed will be the asking price for Diggs, Barr and Hunter. They will help form a ballpark figure…
(All data via Overthecap.com)
Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns
Contract: Signed April 16, 2018. Five years, $75.5 million with $47 million in guarantees, $34 million guaranteed at signing
While Landry averages 100 catches per season over his first four years, he and Diggs have similar impacts on their quarterbacks’ rating and Pro Football Focus grades. When throwing to Landry last season, Jay Cutler had a 96.8 rating, while Case Keenum/Sam Bradford had a 120.4 when throwing to Diggs. The Vikings’ receiver was graded as the eighth best in the NFL by PFF while Landry was 19th.
Landry’s contract is notable because he received more than half guaranteed and a large chunk of that money up front. Diggs’ side will be likely to focus on those parts of the deal if he’s going to sign an extension this offseason.
Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
Contract: Signed December 30, 2017. Four years, $58 million. Adams received an $18 million signing bonus which is the only guarantee on the contract
The Packers’ top receiver and Diggs had nearly identical ratings when targeted (Adams was 120.3). Over the last three years, Adams has 199 catches and Diggs has 200.
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Contract: Signed March 12, 2018. Five years, $82.5 million with $55 million in guarantees, $38.258 million of which is guaranteed at signing
Evans may be looked at as a superior receiver, but he was also graded lower by PFF last year than Diggs. However, in 2016 he graded in the top five. Like Landry’s contract, Evans’ deal includes a large chunk guaranteed up front. Diggs likely couldn’t reach this plateau now, but it might be reason to bet on himself. If has a big year with Kirk Cousins and decided to hit the market, he would be looking at a contract in Evans’ range.
Eric Kendricks, Minnesota Vikings
Contract: Signed April 16, 2018. Five year, $50 million contract, $22.938 million in guarantees, $11.638 million of which is guaranteed at signing
Since 2015, Kendricks and Barr have been partners in Mike Zimmer’s defense, each playing nearly every snap. While Barr might be considered an outside linebacker, in the nickel package, they have similar roles, though Barr rushes the passer more often. Last year Kendricks was rated 37th and Barr 44th among inside LBs.
From Barr’s perspective, being a former first-round pick and generally more versatile, his side could be looking to top Kendricks’ deal by a significant margin.
Jamie Collins, Cleveland Browns
Contract: Signed January 24, 2017. Four year, $50 million with $26.4 million in guarantee
From a usage perspective, Barr and Collins are similar. While Collins doesn’t have huge sack totals (5.5 career high), he split his snaps nearly 50-50 between inside linebacker and outside linebacker last season (per PFF). Like Barr, he’s asked to chase the QB, drop back in coverage, run stuff and create turnovers.
Since Collins signed at the end of last year, Barr could be looking to top his rate of guaranteed money.
Donta Hightower, New England Patriots
Contract: Signed March 15, 2017. Four years, $33.5 million contract, $17 million fully guaranteed at signing.
From the Vikings perspective, they might look at Hightower’s deal as attractive — fewer years, but with a high percentage of guaranteed money. Barr could sign a shorter deal and look to cash in again a few years down the road.
Olivier Vernon, New York Giants
Contract: Signed March 9, 2016. Five year, $85 million, total guarantees in Vernon’s contract are $52.5 million
Hunter may have seen a dip in his production last year, but Vernon’s deal shows us that a down year wouldn’t have much impact on his contract if Hunter hit the open market. In 2013, Vernon had 11.5 sacks and then followed up with 6.5 and 7.5 sacks and still landed the richest deal in the NFL. If he has a solid year and hits the market, not only could Hunter look for a higher average annual value than Vernon — possibly in the $18 million range — but with well over half guaranteed.
Jason Pierre-Paul, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Contract: Signed March 18, 2017. Four year, $62 million with $49.5 million in the first three years and $29 million in total guarantees
Pierre-Paul was traded, but his deal was signed as a contract extension with the Giants. He’s farther along in his career than Hunter and hasn’t had a double-digit sack season since 2014. No doubt Hunter would be looking for more guaranteed, but if he signs a four-year deal with the majority of the money coming in the first three years, he could bank on another mega contract after a few years.
Calais Campbell, Jacksonville Jaguars
Contract: March 11, 2017. Four years, $60 million with$30 million guaranteed at signing
Prior to a monster 2017 season, Campbell had never reached double-digit sacks, which Hunter has already achieved. If the Vikings’ young pass rusher looks for a contract with a term shorter than five years, he would ask for more than half guaranteed.