Christian Darrisaw Had a Wonderful Day

Revamp in Order
Ezra Cleveland and Christian Darrisaw

Training camp is starting and functions as the NFL calendar’s annual start. Some impactful questions will be answered in the training camp. In Minnesota, those include the mystery of who will be the starting cornerback next to Byron Murphy and if Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth can finally live up to their potential after their disappointing rookie season filled with injuries.

Christian Darrisaw Had a Wonderful Day

Christian Darrisaw Had a Wonderful Day
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

Left tackle Christian Darrisaw is long past those questions. He is the franchise left tackle after his strong 2022 season. His star began to shine in last year’s training camp when he drew high comparisons and then backed them up with outstanding play on the field.

He is beginning his year’s training camp on a high note, as he just saw New York Giants’ left tackle Andrew Thomas receive a massive contract extension. He signed a five-year deal. Ian Rapoport tweeted: “The Giants and LT Andrew Thomas agreed to terms on a 5-year, $117.5M extension that includes $67M fully guaranteed. Another big-money payday in NY.”

That is significant for Darrisaw because he will be in the same position next season, signing the dotted lines on a large contract. The fourth-overall pick in the 2020 draft had to go through some growing pains as a rookie but had a solid second season and an elite third one. Now regarded as one of the elite tackles in the game, no one is criticizing former GM Dave Gettleman anymore for passing on Tristan Wirfs.

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Thomas ranked as the third-best offensive tackle in the NFL according to PFF, only trailing Trent Williams and, exactly, Darrisaw. The Vikings’ star graded out marginally better and will look at Thomas’ new deal and celebrate with his agent. The average annual salary of $23.5 million will give Thomas the second-highest salary of all NFL offensive tackles, only trailing Laremy Tunsil and his average payout of $25 million.

Darrisaw came into the league as a first-round pick in 2021. He was Rick Spielman’s final top selection in his Vikings career. Interstingly, Spielman didn’t draft Darrisaw with the original Vikings pick, the 14th overall selection, and instead traded back to position 23 and still got the fantastic left tackle. Other teams helped, like the Raiders, who chose offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood with the 17th overall selection. He only played one season for them before he was traded to the Bears.

Darrisaw missed all offseason programs, including training camp and preseason, because of a core muscle surgery. Therefore, he didn’t play in the first five contests of his rookie campaign. Rashod Hill started in his place until Darrisaw was ready to play in Week 5, and he slipped into the starting lineup in Week 6.

for Vikings at Bears
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A solid rookie season and an outstanding second year are why the Vikings are so excited about their young star. The only thing that slowed him down was a couple of concussions. He must keep his head out of plays for the sake of his career and his long-term health outside of football.

Besides that, he has been absolutely sensational for the Vikings, and if he stays healthy, there is no reason why they shouldn’t extend his deal. We still haven’t seen his full potential, as he has only had one full offseason with the team and made a huge jump in that time. Darrisaw would be the second most expensive OT on the roster, as Brian O’Neill is making $18.5 million per season, ranking him tenth in the NFL among offensive tackles.

It would be a costly investment, but OT is a premium position, especially in this era of pass-first offenses. Keeping Kirk Cousins or his eventual successor upright is one of the top goals of Kevin O’Connell and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. It is one reason why the Vikings will be a fantastic team for a rookie quarterback in the near future.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt