The Vikings have had to make some big cuts to improve their cap situation. Another huge one involving Harrison Smith could also be coming.
Teams around the NFL are scrambling to get their cap space in order before the free agency frenzy arrives. As one of the teams in the negative this offseason, the Vikings have had to be particularly aggressive in their cuts.
That meant releasing wide receiver Adam Thielen and cornerback Cam Dantzler on Friday along with linebacker Eric Kendricks earlier in the week. It could mean releasing another major defensive figure in the coming days, and not just Za’Darius Smith, who reportedly wants out.
Longtime Vikings safety Harrison Smith could be on the chopping block, according to Darren Wolfson of SKOR North.
“Fluid situation but this person leads me to believe…signs point to the Vikings releasing Harrison Smith,” Wolfson said on Friday afternoon.
Vikings could cut Harrison Smith for cap space help
That doesn’t mean Smith is definitely going to be cut, Wolfson said. The team could still try to restructure his current deal to be more team friendly. However, if the two sides can’t agree on that, the cut is certianly possible.
Smith has been a stalwart for the Vikings since he was drafted No. 29 overall in 2012 out of Notre Dame. He’s started 158 games over the last 11 seasons in Minnesota, making it to six Pro Bowls. He was an AP first team All-Pro in 2017.
In 2022, Smith had 85 total tackles, five interceptions and a forced fumble in 14 games of action.
Despite his years of service, the 34-year-old is in the twilight of his career and carries a cap hit of just over $19 million. Cutting him would give the Vikings more than $7 million in cap savings.
It would be a sad day for Vikings fans to see Smith leave Minnesota but the move may be unavoidable.