The Minnesota Vikings violated the NFL’s salary cap policy and were punished with the loss of a draft pick.
It’s been an interesting offseason for the Minnesota Vikings as the franchise enters a true make-or-break season.
After missing the playoffs for the second time in three years, the Vikings could be in for a facelift if this upcoming season doesn’t produce different results. Mike Zimmer’s seat is getting hot, Kirk Cousins is still making a lot of money to not bring a Super Bowl to Minnesota, and the once brooding defense is more middle-of-the-pack than it should be.
Additions like bringing in Patrick Peterson could be what the roster needs, but questions will remain.
One question, as odd as it is, pertains to recent punishment handed down by the NFL over a salary cap violation committed by the Vikings. Minnesota was stripped of a seventh-round pick and now general manager Rick Spielman is stepping up to try and explain things.
Minnesota Vikings GM Rick Spielman responds to NFL’s punishment
Spielman responded to the punishment on Friday, taking the high road of full responsibility for what happened.
“A mistake was made, we take responsibility and we respect the league’s decision and will move forward,” Spielman said.
So what was the violation that led to this punishment?
According to Michael David Smith from ProFootballTalk, it stems from an issue back in 2019 involving a practice squad player. Beyond that, the infraction remains a total mystery as the name of the player and exactly what happened to trigger a salary cap violation is unknown.
It’s not the first time a team has been punished for a salary cap violation, and it’s not the first time a team in Minnesota has committed such an infraction. Back in the late 90s, the Timberwolves made an under-the-table deal with Joe Smith in order to sign him to a cheap contract with the promise of paying him even more on his next deal. Such a thing was a gross violation of the NBA’s policy and resulted in the league stripping the Wolves of multiple future draft picks — something that many credits as a major reason Minnesota failed to build a better roster around Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett and led to his eventual exit from the franchise.
This is far less serious than that, and the Vikings are taking this on the chin rather than fighting it. But when you tell a Minnesota sports fan a team has violated a salary cap rule, it brings back cold and dark memories.