The Vikings renewed their organized team activities Tuesday for the final week that is open to the…
Kleinsasser Re-Works Contract
It wasn't that long ago that Kleinsasser was given the franchise tag by the Vikings, who had it on good authority that Joe Gibbs was going to make a strong push for Kleinsasser in the free-agent market. Unlike other teams that have had troubles when they slap the franchise designation on a player, the Vikings and Kleinsasser were able to tear up his franchise tender and agree to a long-term contract that made him one of the highest-paid tight ends in the league.
That, however, was in the Mike Tice Administration. His offense required a tight end to serve as a receiver, an in-line blocker, a H-back hybrid and fullback on short-yardage situations. When Brad Childress installed the West Coast offense, Kleinsasser seemed like a man without a role. The signing of Tony Richardson took away most of his lead-blocking duties and his receptions dwindled to just a handful last year. There was considerable discussion that, barring a re-working of his contract, Kleinsasser could be a salary-cap casualty, especially after the team signed Visanthe Shiancoe to replace Jermaine Wiggins as their top receiving tight end.
The team avoided that eventuality, as he has agreed to take a $1.5 million pay cut over the final two years of his deal. For the 2007 season, his base salary will drop from $2.9 million to $1.9 million and from $2.9 million to $2.4 million in 2008.
It wasn't immediately known if the re-worked contract will include language that will allow Kleinsasser to make some of the money back through performance incentives.
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