Hughes’ contract situation
This is also a big season for Mike Hughes’ ambitions of earning a lucrative, long-term deal with the Vikings in the future.
NFL players tend to start negotiations on an extension following the third or fourth year of their rookie deals. Hughes will enter that realm in 2021, but there is nothing to suggest a new deal will be in the works.
That could change if Hughes lives up to his pre-draft hype and becomes a vital cog in the Minnesota defense next season. Hughes is set to count $2.69 million against the Vikings’ salary cap in 2020 and he represents a cheap option for a roster that is up against it from a financial perspective heading into free agency this year.
In 2021, Hughes will impact Minnesota’s cap by $3.13 million. Given the lack of money that would be saved with a possible release, he should at least be given until then to prove his worth.
The Vikings have invested heavily in high NFL Draft picks at cornerback in recent years with mixed success. It would not be a surprise to see them use the 25th overall selection on another corner during next month’s draft, which will put added pressure on Hughes to perform.
The Vikings also have a team option in 2022 if Hughes excels, giving them more time to work out a possible extension with him. The ball is in his court and if he performs well it becomes a win-win situation for both parties.
It will be up to Hughes to prove he is worthy of a more lucrative commitment going forward.