MEDIA Vikings aim to re-do Griffith, Carter deals : LUSENET : Purple : One Thread

Published: Thursday, March 1, 2001

Vikings aim to re-do Griffith, Carter deals

Pioneer Press

---------------------------------------------------------------------- -- SEAN JENSEN STAFF WRITER ---------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Heading into the final hours to get under the NFL's salary cap, the Vikings are likely to save $5 million with the expected restructuring of contracts for veterans Robert Griffith and Cris Carter, according to league sources. Late Wednesday evening, agent Mitch Frankel said neither deal had been completed but that he expected Carter's restructuring to be completed today. As for Griffith, Frankel said, ``We're still talking to work toward an equitable agreement.'' The team hopes to lock up Griffith for the future and lower his salary cap number, expected to be $5.8 million. The Vikings had talked to Griffith about a contract extension, but talks ceased when Griffith wanted to be among the top two or three highest-paid safeties in the NFL. Now Griffith is willing to cooperate if he can get a guarantee that the team won't place either the franchise or transitional tag on him next offseason, when he's expected to be an unrestricted free agent. One scenario the team is considering involves adding voidable years that would lower his salary cap number and allow the team to spread out the money due to him over a longer period of time. But regardless of how the contract is restructured, it should save the team about $2 million and enable the Vikings to retain one of their top players for another season. The team had hoped not to restructure Carter's deal, which called for the receiver to get $6.9 million this season. But Carter always has been willing to help the team, and his restructuring is expected to save about $3 million. Coupled with the expected release of defensive lineman John Randle, the Vikings should be under the salary cap of $67.4 million. But with the NFL's salary cap deadline at midnight tonight, the Vikings are expected to make a few more moves as well, including possibly releasing left tackle Todd Steussie and defensive end John Burrough. Because they want to take part in the free-agent market, in a limited way, the Vikings still must get far enough underneath to sign veterans. Steussie possibly could remain with the team for another two weeks, and Burrough could be asked to take a pay cut. Steussie is due a roster bonus of $1 million on March 15, so the team might hold onto him for a while longer in hopes of reaching a compromise. The Vikings want to sign him to an extension that doesn't include a pay raise, but because Steussie has resisted working with the team, the Vikings might release him today. Burrough is expected to count $2.8 million against the cap, a figure

-- Mark (Karch, March 01, 2001

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