Veteran Minnesota Vikings defensive end Brian Robison wanted to play “one or two more years,” and on Friday, the team made his wish come true. According to ESPN’s Field Yates, Robison took a slight pay cut and signed a one-year extension to remain with the Vikings through 2018.
Robison’s new deal reduces his 2017 base salary from $5.3 million to $3.9 million, all of which is guaranteed. While he’s losing out on $1.4 million this season, Robison’s eligible for a $100,000 workout bonus and walks away with his entire year’s salary guaranteed; a luxury not included in his original contract from 2013.
Next season, he’ll earn a base salary of $3.2 million ($1.25 million guaranteed). His newly-added year also includes $200,000 in per-game roster bonuses and a $100,000 workout bonus. In total, the two-year deal is worth a base value of $7.5 million with $5.15 million guaranteed.
Robison’s decision nets the Vikings an extra $1.8 million in cap space this offseason, which frees Rick Spielman to cut a little looser on prospective free agent signings. Minnesota has reportedly shown interest in Rod Streater, a receiver who would give the team a vertical threat. There’s also the issue of re-signing the team’s remaining free agents, including Matt Asiata, Zach Line, and others.
The respective parties find themselves in a win-win situation. Although Robison will likely lose playing time to the surging Danielle Hunter, he remains a valuable piece along Mike Zimmer’s defensive line. Last season, he played in just 80% of the team’s defensive snaps and still came away with 7.5 sacks. His versatility—as a three-technique pass rusher and traditional defensive end—allows Zimmer to rotate different personnel groupings in critical situational moments.
In Datone Jones, recently signed from the Green Bay Packers, the Vikings now have three players—Robison, Jones, Danielle Hunter—who can play multiple spots along the defensive line. And, their combined total salary cap hit for 2017 is just a shade over $9.5 million.