The Vikings know this routine well. Veteran wide receiver is making a little too much money for comfort, but the team is thin enough at the position to not want to cut him outright. Do you keep the guy despite his inflated salary or let him go and take your chances with an untested young player? Or do you take what’s behind door number 3: re-negotiation?
Three times now in the past two years the Vikings have chosen to cut new deals with veterans making too much money. Last offseason they did it with Bernard Berrian and Greg Camarillo, and got very little return from either player. Now they’ve gone that route again with Michael Jenkins, agreeing to a new deal that cuts his 2012 base salary from $2.5 million to $1 million, and his 2013 base from $2.5 million to $825,000. As normally happens with such deals, Jenkins can recover some of the lost salary by reaching incentives.
The new deal pretty much secures a spot on the opening day roster for Michael Jenkins, even though Jenkins is still visibly not all the way back from his 2011 knee surgery. Before there had been speculation that Jenkins would be cut in favor of a younger, healthier, cheaper guy like Manny Arceneaux, who has been a steady performer in camp according to wide receivers coach George Stewart. But now the Vikings can comfortably keep Jenkins, who still has good hands – preseason drop notwithstanding – and can still be a help to Christian Ponder in his on-going development.
With Jenkins now probably solidified as the #3, the rest of the receiver corps can begin falling into place. Jerome Simpson and Percy Harvin are the starters with Jarius Wright and most likely Stephen Burton filling the other two spots. Manny Arceneaux will probably make the team out of preseason with Simpson being suspended the first three games, and my guess is that after Simpson returns, Arceneaux will be sent to the practice squad. Devin Aromashodu is the odd man out in this equation. I can’t see the Vikings keeping him over Burton who earned the start at flanker Friday night with Harvin sitting. Thanks for the memories Devin.