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Vikings terminate the contracts of Joseph, Rhodes

The moves free up more than $18.5 million in cap space for the Vikings, who entered the offseason as one of the teams with the least amount of cap space available.
Oct 22, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph (98) tackles Baltimore Ravens running back Alex Collins (34) during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

EAGAN, Minn. — With the NFL Free Agency period just around the corner, the Minnesota Vikings are freeing up some cap space.

The team announced they've terminated the contracts of veterans Linval Joseph and Xavier Rhodes.

The moves free up more than $18.5 million in cap space for the Vikings, who entered the offseason as one of the teams with the least amount of cap space available.

“Both Linval and Xavier have personified what it means to be a Minnesota Viking since joining our organization, providing incredible leadership on the field, in the locker room and within the community," said Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman in a statement. "We are all grateful for their hard work and all they’ve done to help build our culture here in Minnesota. This decision comes now to allow Linval and Xavier to enter free agency prior to the start of the new league year. We are sincerely appreciative of their contributions and commitment and will remain in communication as all parties navigate free agency moving forward.”

Joseph joined the Vikings in 2014 and was a catalyst in transforming Minnesota's defense into one of the premier units in the league. The two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle recorded 303 from 2015-2019, the second-most in the NFL among defensive tackles during that span.

Rhodes, a former All-Pro, was one of the league's top cornerbacks in 2016, earning him a five-year $70 million contract extension in 2017. The former first-round pick, however, failed to maintain that level of production, part to do because of injury.

“Xavier and Linval were key parts of building this team and establishing the Vikings defense the way we wanted." said Vikings coach Mike Zimmer. "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.”

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