Vikings' Felton to opt out of contract after season


Vikings fullback Jerome Felton told reporters Friday he intends to opt out of his contract and become a free agent after the season.

That means Felton will likely play his last game as a Viking on Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium against Chicago.

According to the Pioneer Press, Felton is scheduled to make $2.45 million with the Vikings next season. But as his contract numbers have increased, his playing time has dwindled.

The 2012 Pro Bowler is still regarded as one of the best fullbacks in the NFL, but he's been on the field for just 10.5 snaps per game this year, significantly down from 23.4 last year and 25.1 in 2012.

"The economics of my thing is they're not going to pay me $2.5 million," Felton told the Pioneer Press. "You wouldn't just stay in a contract knowing your salary is that high. There's no guarantee in the contract, so it wouldn't make sense for me to opt in. So I'm a free agent after this season. If they wanted, they could re-sign me (at a lesser amount)."

He was chosen as a Pro Bowl alternate again in 2015, according to 1500 ESPN, after no Vikings were selected to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday.

The big setback in Felton's playing time likely came when Norv Turner was named offensive coordinator. Turner is known for favoring two tight-end sets over using a fullback.

The other setbacks are likely the result of circumstance. Adrian Peterson's legal situation and subsequent suspension was also likely a factor, and so was the injury to Jerick McKinnon.

"Yeah, it's been frustrating," Felton told 1500 ESPN. "Kind of fell off a bit when [McKinnon] got hurt. I think it would've played out a little differently if [Adrian Peterson] was still here."

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