The Minnesota Vikings are releasing cornerback Xavier Rhodes, defensive tackle Linval Joseph and tight end David Morgan. The moves will save Minnesota close to $19.4 million in salary cap space, which is important considering they had the second lowest space coming into the day, according to Spotrac.com.
Rhodes, 29, was scheduled to count $12.9 million against the salary cap in 2020. The Vikings will carry his $4.8 million dead cap hit instead, a net savings of $8.1 million. The three time Pro Bowl selection is coming off a down year in which he recorded 63 tackles, one forced fumble and six pass deflections. He was picked on early and often during the team's NFC playoff run. The former first-round pick out of Florida State has accumulated 10 career interceptions.
Joseph, 31, signed a four year extension worth upwards of $50 million in August of 2017. His $12.9 million salary cap hit will dwindle down to just $2.4 million in 2020. Joseph's career began with the New York Giants after being selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft out of East Carolina. During the past six seasons with Minnesota, he compiled 15 sacks, six forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman both stated their intent to remain in contact with the players during free agency. The door appears to be open for a potential reunion if it comes at the right price.
"Xavier and Linval were key parts of building this team and establishing the Vikings defense the way we wanted," Zimmer said in a press release. "They're pros and made everyone around them better. I wish them the best, and I know Rick and the personnel staff will stay in communication with them during free agency."
Morgan's entire $735,000 salary will come off the books as well.
Several members of the Minnesota secondary are scheduled to hit free agency including cornerback Trae Waynes, safety Anthony Harris, safety Andrew Sendejo and cornerback Mackenzie Alexander.