Matt Kalil could be cut by the Minnesota Vikings to save $11 million against the salary cap.
Left tackle Matt Kalil has been largely a disappointment since being drafted fourth overall by the Vikings in 2012. After a decent rookie season, Kalil struggled in his second and third years, but did bounce back slightly in 2015.
The Vikings last year picked up Kalil’s fifth-year option worth $11.1 million but that money does not become guaranteed until the start of the new league year, giving the Vikings a window during which to make a decision on whether they want to keep Kalil, let him go or try to re-do his contract.
Letting Kalil walk would free up $11 million in cap space but would also leave the Vikings searching for a new left tackle. Though Kalil certainly has not lived up to expectations, he is a viable starter and has been very durable, never missing a start in his four years.
Though Kalil is definitely worth keeping, he is probably not worth paying $11.1 million for one season. The Vikings likely would prefer to work out a new deal with Kalil and reduce his cap number for 2016, giving the team some flexibility to pursue other free agents.
Kalil could choose not to re-negotiate and instead take his chances on the open market. Kalil would be only a mid-level free agent on the market however and money-wise would likely be better off staying in Minnesota.
As I see it, the Vikings are unlikely to outright cut Kalil, a decent player at a position where it might be difficult to find an upgrade. Getting Kalil’s cap number down to something reasonable is a must.
Many fans would like the Vikings to let Kalil go after his struggles of the past three years, but the truth is he is likely to stay.