7 best moves of the Minnesota Vikings 2021 offseason

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Patrick Peterson
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Patrick Peterson /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports) Kyle Rudolph /

Moving on from expensive veterans

For the last few offseasons, the Vikings have been forced to make some difficult roster decisions. This year featured more of the same as Minnesota said goodbye to tight end Kyle Rudolph and left tackle Riley Reiff.

Despite Rudolph claiming that he wasn’t utilized enough in the offense during the last two seasons, his mediocre production was not going to be worth the $9.45 million he was scheduled to count against the Vikings’ salary cap in 2021.

Something similar could be said about Minnesota’s decision to release Reiff. Despite the veteran left tackle having a solid performance in 2020, it still wasn’t enough for the Vikings to look past his 2021 cap hit that was scheduled to be just under $14 million.

In addition to moving on from Rudolph and Reiff, Minnesota also parted ways with veteran defensive tackle Shamar Stephen this offseason. The Vikings’ defensive coaches always raved about how much Stephen did for the team even though it didn’t show up in the box score. But even their praise for him couldn’t keep him on Minnesota’s roster.