Vikings Enter ‘New Talks’ With 3-Time All-Pro Ahead of Season Opener: Report

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Courtesy of Vikings The Vikings could be without Harrison Smith on Sunday.

The Minnesota Vikings remain in talks with Ndamukong Suh with their season opener under a week away.

KSTP’s Darren Wolfson detailed the latest details involving the three-time All-Pro veteran defensive tackle and a deadline ahead that may finally prompt a move on Suh.

Vikings Have Opportunity to Strike a Deal After Week 1

Appearing on the SKOR North podcast on September 6, Wolfson revealed that Minnesota and Suh remain divided on

The Athletic’s Tashan Reed reported Suh is asking for a contract in the ballpark of $9 million a season. Meanwhile, Wolfson said the Vikings are not budging beyond the veteran minimum, which would be $1.2 million for a player of Suh’s tenure, per Over the Cap.

“There have been new talks,” Wolfson said. “My sense is those talks have been initiated by Suh’s camp, not by the Vikings. Here’s where we stand. The Vikings would happily take Ndamukong Suh. The Vikings are not budging off the veteran minimum. For a guy in his mid-30’s it’s not chump change. It’s okay money, but Ndamukong Suh is looking for far more than the veteran minimum.

The two sides are just staring each other down,” Wolfson added. “The Vikings are not willing to budge — Suh not willing to budge on a minimum offer.”

While Suh and Minnesota are far apart from a number both sides can agree to at the moment, a signing after Week 1 is likely the opportune time to strike on many key free agent veterans like Suh.

Vested veterans, players with at least four years experience, only see 25% of their base salary guaranteed if signed after Week 1 instead of a fully guaranteed salary before the start of the season under the league CBA. It offers teams less risk and investment in signing a veteran after Week 1 by being able to release them without eating the remainder of their salary.

Suh’s free agency could likely see its end after Week 1 with many teams more willing to pull the trigger on signing him to a partially guaranteed salary instead of offering a full deal for the 35-year-old.

Ndamukong Suh ‘Wants to Play,’ Wolfson Says

Veterans at Suh’s age tend to toe the line of whether they still want to play or are ready for retirement. If the right deal and situation come along, sure, but oftentimes, a lack of interest from teams is enough of a sign for a player to hang up the cleats.

That’s not the case with Suh, who has garnered genuine interest from the Vikings and Las Vegas Raiders throughout the offseason. He also appears eager to play and isn’t inching closer to the idea of retirement yet, according to Wolfson.

“My sense is he wants to play,” Wolfson said. “I’ll be surprised if he signs for the minimum. Do I think he’s getting the $7 or 8 million he so desires? No. I can’t foresee a scenario where somebody is paying him that sort of money. The Raiders have had interest, the Browns’ interest has been overstated, but the Vikings have been at least answering the phone going back months. After the Armon Watts move… (the Vikings) looking for depth on the defensive line, to me, a marriage eventually makes some sense, but it’s just not close to happening right this second.”

Minnesota currently has $2.3 million in cap space but could restructure a veteran contract to create enough cap space for Suh. Eric Kendricks boasts the highest base salary of $9.2 million on the team, which could be converted into future signing bonuses.

A move of that nature would likely come at the time of signing Suh.

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