6 contracts holding the Vikings back right now

Kirk Cousins
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Vikings contract No. 4

Byron Murphy, cornerback

A solid starting cornerback is worth over $10 million per year, but the Minnesota Vikings got a little fancy with Byron Murphy's contract. Although 2024 is the final playing year left on his contract, the team will be paying him through the 2027 NFL season.

The Vikings have an out that they can exercise this offseason to part ways with Murphy with only a $5.6 million dead cap hit, but that means they will also need to find a new starter in the Vikings' Brian Flores defense.

Byron Murphy led the Vikings with three interceptions last season while defending a career-high 13 passes in 14 games played. Although it will be tempting to cut Murphy and take the smaller dead cap hit, replacing his productivity could be a challenge.

Creating immediate salary cap release by moving it to years the player won't be with the team is smart if a squad like the Minnesota Vikings has the space down the road without major financial decisions looming. That is not the current situation.