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Vikings sign eight draft picks, including tight end Smith

EAGAN, Minn. -- The Vikings locked up eight draft picks Thursday, May 2, but might not be in a hurry to sign first-round selection Garrett Bradbury.

Minnesota must carve out about $700,000 in salary-cap room to sign Bradbury, an offensive lineman taken with the No. 18 pick in last week’s draft.

There were no indications Thursday that Bradbury would sign before Friday’s start of a three-day rookie minicamp, but consider that last year’s first-round pick, cornerback Mike Hughes, didn’t sign until just before the start of training camp last July. So the Vikings could have plenty of time to create cap room.

Signing Thursday were second-round tight end Irv Smith Jr., third-round running back Alexander Mattison, fourth-round guard Dru Samia, fifth-round linebacker Cameron Smith, sixth-round safety Marcus Epps, sixth-round tackle Oli Udoh and seventh-round wide receivers Dillon Mitchell and Olabisi Johnson.

The Vikings had 12 picks in the draft. In addition to Bradbury, remaining unsigned are sixth-round defensive tackle Armon Watts, seventh-round cornerback Kris Boyd and seventh-round long snapper Austin Cutting.

Cutting played at Air Force, and approval is needed for him to be in the NFL in 2019.

A source said Cutting will not sign soon, instead inking an injury protection agreement for spring drills. The source said Cutting wants to wait and see if he is cleared by the Air Force to play before signing a contract.

Cutting is scheduled to take part this spring in the rookie minicamp, organized team activities and a mandatory minicamp. He will miss a May 30 OTA to attend his Air Force graduation.

President Donald Trump is the scheduled commencement speaker.

Here’s a look at contract values for Thursday’s signees, all for four years:

  • Irv Smith: Total of $5.798 million with $2.237 million signing bonus and $1.054 million counting against the cap in 2019.
  • Samia: Total of $3.259 million with $739,940 signing bonus and $679,985 against the cap.
  • Cameron Smith: Total of $2.815 million with $295,152 signing bonus and $568,788 against the cap.
  • Epps: Total of $2.688 million with $168,756 signing bonus and $537,189 against the cap.
  • Udoh: Total of $2.687 million with $167,600 signing bonus and $536,900 against the cap.
  • Mitchell: Total of $2.6 million with $80,316 signing bonus and $515,079 against the cap.
  • Johnson: Total of $2.594 million with $74,576 signing bonus and $513,644 against the cap.

Mattison signed a four-year deal believed to worth about $3.35 million with a signing bonus of about $820,000 million and with a 2019 cap number of about $700,000.

The signings leave the Vikings with about $1 million in cap room. Bradbury is in line to have a 2019 cap number of $2.342 million.

For cap purposes, he would displace in the top 51 of salaries a low-dollar player, so the Vikings need about $700,000 of room to sign him. The other unsigned picks have little effect on the cap.

There has been plenty of speculation that Minnesota might look to trade tight end Kyle Rudolph or reduce a salary-cap number that is $7.625 million for 2019.

The Vikings might not need to make a move on Rudolph to sign all their draft picks since they don’t require a large sum of money.

However, they might not want to keep Rudolph’s current cap number intact so they have room for other moves, including the possibility of offering an extension to cornerback Trae Waynes.

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