5 players a new Vikings regime could get rid of in 2022

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins /
4 of 6
Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Harrison Smith /

Harrison Smith, safety

There are some players who fans would love to see play their entire career with the Minnesota Vikings. Harrison Smith looked like he would be one of those individuals when he signed a contract extension before the 2021 season.

That might not be the case though. Smith’s contract allows them to release the Pro Bowl safety for a dead cap of $7.66M compared to his cap hit of $13.4M. Saving a little under $6M to let him walk doesn’t seem like a bargain, but there are reasons to think it could be a possibility.

Camryn Bynum showed potential as a rookie and either drafting a new safety or picking up a cheap free agent could make letting the 32-year-old defensive back go while planning for the future isn’t a terrible strategy.

However, Smith’s more likely exit will be following the 2022 season when there is an out in his contract that will allow him to be released for a cap hit of $5.75M compared to a $17.2M cap hit. Odds are that will be when Minnesota makes their big decision on Smith, but if a youth movement is in order, several veterans including Smith could be on the chopping block.