Isider Reveals Why Vikings’ 35-year-old Safety Is Likely Facing Pay Cut In 2024…

Isider Explains Why The 35-Year-Old Safety of The Vikings Will Probably See A Pay Cut in 2024…

Harrison Smith is still under contract with the Vikings, where he has spent his whole 12-year playing career. If he chooses to pursue his profession, it will probably have to be at a slower pace.

Smith faced a similar predicament during the previous offseason. In the end, he consented to a restructuring that preserved the majority of his base pay but resulted in a pay cut. The 35-year-old’s deal has two more years left on it, and if nothing else changes, he will have cap hits of $19.22MM and $22.02MM, respectively.

After the Vikings’ season ended, Smith declined to take a definite stand on his playing future, as noted by Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. In 2023, the six-time Pro Bowl player recorded 93 tackles, three sacks, and three forced fumbles. One year after recording five interceptions, he did not allow a touchdown in coverage. Goessling notes that Smith would probably have to accept even another pay decrease in order to stay in Minnesota, even though he would still be a productive player if he decided to play in 2024.

The former All-Pro is owed $15.3MM in 2019, but a trade or release would result in significant cap savings for the Vikings (especially if Smith is designated as a post-June 1 cut). In contrast, a reorganization would free up $6.67 million in cap space while enabling Minnesota to keep him. The team needs to make some big financial decisions soon, so any more leeway would be appreciated.

Kirk Cousins needs to come to a new agreement with the Vikings, or they need to find a starting quarterback to replace him. The team and wideout Justin Jefferson are scheduled to start negotiating a mega-extension. The latter is already signed through his fifth-year option for 2024, but he does not seem ready to give a hometown discount. Moves with other important players, like pending free agent edge rusher Danielle Hunter, will be guided by the clarity around the Cousins and Jefferson fronts.

Goessling reports that Smith’s return for the upcoming campaign is something that both defensive coordinator Brian Flores and head coach Kevin O’Connell desire. The most important question in this circumstance is still whether he wants to play; if he decides not to hang up his cleats, it will be interesting to see if he is prepared to accept a wage decrease for the second consecutive year.

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