Vikings FB Jerome Felton admitted that his lack of playing time this season is likely to impact his decision regarding whether or not to exercise the opt out included in his contract next year.
“Of course, that will be a factor,” Felton said, via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. “But I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time this year because I like our coaching staff and I really think this team is heading in the right direction. All of that is going to be in play.”
Last year, Minnesota reduced Felton’s salary from $1.95 to $1.45 million and in turn included the ability for him to opt out of the agreement following the 2014 season.
Tomasson points out that Felton has played just 122 of the team’s 743 snaps and only saw five snaps against the Packers in Week 12.
“I’m not thrilled by it by any means,” Felton said of his decreased playing time. “I know I’ve been playing at a really high level. But that’s a coaches’ decision and all I can do is play to the best of my ability and put it on film when I get an opportunity. … Honestly, I think I’m playing better this year than I was in my Pro Bowl year.”
Interestingly enough, Pro Football Focus has Felton rated as the No. 2 fullback in the league, so even though fullbacks have found little to no interest on the open market, there is a chance that Felton could have multiple opportunities next year if he indeed opts out of his contract.
Felton, 28, stands to make a base salary of $2.45 million for the 2015 season if ends up being back with the Vikings.
This season he has appeared in 11 games and and carried the ball for 24 yards on three carries to go along with 23 kick return yards.