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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Decision window on Matt Kalil highlights offseason dates for Vikings

By Andrew Krammer

The Vikings’ offseason is underway.

A couple dates stand out aside from the usual lead-up to free agency and the NFL Draft. The Vikings’ tattered offensive line has one of its biggest decisions looming at left tackle. They currently have a seven-week window to decide on Matt Kalil, whose salary leaps nearly $8 million on a fifth-year option that becomes fully guaranteed soon. The Vikings can either release their uneven fourth-overall pick before March 9 or he’ll count $11.096 million against the cap next season, unless a new deal is negotiated.

Mike Zimmer kept his options open along the O-line following the Vikings’ first-round playoff exit.

“Right now, I think we need to compete at that position,” Zimmer said Jan. 12. “I think guys need to come in and compete whether it’s [John] Sullivan or [Phil] Loadholt or Kalil or whoever it is. They need to compete.”

The Vikings could also have a decision to make on Adrian Peterson, though it’s believed he’ll stay put after claiming his third league rushing title last season. Peterson gets $7 million of his $7.75 million base salary fully guaranteed on March 11. He’s also due his $4 million roster bonus on that date, according to ESPN.

The Vikings are also one of five teams to host a regional combine, open to fringe 2016 draft prospects.

Jan. 18: Deadline for college underclassmen to declare for the NFL Draft

Jan. 25-30: Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

Jan. 31: Pro Bowl in Honolulu

Feb. 7: Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, Calif.

Feb. 16: First day to apply franchise or transition tag

Feb. 23-29: NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis

March 1: Franchise and transition tag deadline at 3 p.m. CT

March 5: NFL Regional Combine in Eden Prairie, Minn.

March 7: Starting at 11 a.m. CT, all teams are allowed to negotiate with all players on expiring contracts.

March 9: A big date for the Vikings and left tackle Matt Kalil. At 3 p.m. CT, the fifth-year options exercised on all contracts for 2016 become fully guaranteed. Meaning the Vikings can either release Kalil outright before March 9, or be on the hook for $11.096 million next year unless a new deal is negotiated. Kalil has struggled through injuries and poor play in three years since his Pro Bowl rookie season. Safety Harrison Smith’s fifth-year option ($5.278 million) is an easier decision as he’s likely played his way toward a multi-year extension anyway. Free agency and trading also begin on this date as all 2015 contracts expire.

March 11: Adrian Peterson gets the bulk of his 2016 salary guaranteed.

March 20-23: NFL owner’s meetings in Boca Raton, Fla.

April 18: Offseason workout programs begin for teams with returning head coaches, like the Vikings.

April 22: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets. Fullback Zach Line is the Vikings’ only restricted free agent.

April 28-30: NFL Draft in Chicago

The post Decision window on Matt Kalil highlights offseason dates for Vikings appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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