What doest the Harrison Smith pay cut mean for Za’Darius Smith and Dalvin Cook?
The Minnesota Vikings made some waves on Thursday morning by agreeing to a pay cut with safety Harrison Smith. The move will save nearly $7 million against the salary cap. Most importantly, they kept one of the best safeties in the game for only a projected $680k more than what they would have saved by cutting him.
With the Vikings needing to clear out cap space, Harrison Smith wasn’t the only veteran rumored to be cut. His teammates Za’Darius Smith and Dalvin Cook are both rumored to be on the chopping block as well, but for different reasons. Does this move impact them at all?
Not in the slightest.
Wanting Harrison Smith to take a pay cut was a separate issue from what the Vikings were dealing with in terms of both Za’Darius Smith and Cook.
Za’Darius Smith wanted a raise based on his production from last year but the Vikings weren’t budging, likely due to his age at 31. He then tweeted out a thank you to the Vikings’ fanbase and organization and we have been in limbo ever since. With the signing of Marcus Davenport, it feels likely that Smith is gone, but you never know.
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Cook on the other hand is a different. The Vikings can only save $5.8 million on the salary cap by releasing him. They did just sign Alexander Mattison to a two-year, $7 million contract on Wednesday which clouds the future of Cook.
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There have been trade offers out there for Cook, but nothing has been enough for the Vikings to take the offer and save an extra $2 million on the salary cap, as his shoulder surgery in February guaranteed that amount.
What will the Vikings end up doing? They have to make a decision on both players by 3 pm on Friday, March 17th as Za’Darius Smith ($5 million) and Cook ($2 million) each have guarantees that vest at that time. I would personally expect both players to be released or traded by that time, but you never know how this front office will handle things.