Xavier Woods contract with Vikings reveals several smart details

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Xavier Woods
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Xavier Woods /

The secondary was a mess for the Minnesota Vikings last year. 2020 saw the unit take a lot of bumps as they gained experience and battled several injuries while facing off against some extremely tough offenses and not having the benefit of a pass rush to help them out.

Minnesota went at this problem with a fury in free agency, signing All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson as a veteran to help out the youngsters as well as adding Cowboys safety Xavier Woods to pair with Harrison Smith in the backfield.

With these additions, the defensive backs have a lot more depth and experience entering the 2021 NFL season. One look at the contract of Woods shows that the Vikings were smart when negotiating a contract with the former Dallas starter as seen in a tweet from Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press.

Some benefits of the Vikings contract with Xavier Woods

As previously stated, the two biggest issues with the Vikings secondary were injuries and inexperience. Woods’ 48 starts in 60 games played should immediately pencil him as the starter next to Harrison Smith, making experience at safety a strength for the team.

As for injuries, it appears as though Minnesota wanted a little financial assurance in that category. Making a majority of his contract guaranteed was a good way to entice Woods to sign this deal, but adding a bit of insurance was smart as well.

Per-game roster bonuses allow the Vikings to release Woods if he suffers a season-ending injury and will save them money if that scenario happens. Of course, Minnesota should be hoping they don’t need to use this strategy to save money and instead they get consistently high levels of play from their new safety, but every dollar can count since the cash-strapped team has some big cap hits coming up in the future.

The Minnesota Vikings seem to have a magician in Rob Brzezinski, the team’s salary cap guru. The team has been able to address several needs in free agency despite limited cap space and set them up nicely for the 2021 NFL Draft, including finding a budget-friendly starting safety in Xavier Woods.