The Vikings have gone on a relative shopping spree this offseason, and the shopping may not be over, as the team is still moving money around and freeing up cap space.
The latest to have his contract redone in the name of immediate cap relief is linebacker Chad Greenway, who reportedly has taken a $1 million pay cut for 2014.
Greenway’s original $6.5 million base for the season was sliced to $5.5 million, but to make up for it, the Vikings fully guaranteed Greenway’s salary for the year.
Greenway is still under contract for 2015, but the Vikings can cut him after the season and save $7 million.
So basically, Chad Greenway is playing on a one year, $5.5 million contract. If he performs like he did in 2013, he will be vastly overpaid even at the reduced number.
Greenway’s drop off in performance last year may have been exacerbated by lack of talent around him, schematic issues and his wrist injury. Or it could be that he was always a little overrated and the natural ravages of time have made him even less productive.
A bounceback season is always possible, with upgrades at key defensive positions including nose tackle taking some responsibility off Greenway’s shoulders and allowing him to play more freely.
We’ll see if Mike Zimmer can coach Greenway up and get a performance out of him that’s worth $5.5 million. I’m skeptical that a linebacker with limited coverage and blitzing skill will provide much value in Zimmer’s system, but we’ll see.
The Vikings now reportedly have around $16 million in cap space after redoing several contracts, including Jerome Felton’s.