Well, Dalton Risner Wants to Join the Vikings.

Even National Voices
Feb 9, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, US; Denver Broncos guard Dalton Risner Poses for a photo poses for a photo on the red carpet before the NFL Honors award show at Symphony Hall. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings encountered a rough Week 1 afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium, losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a score of 20-17.

Minnesota was favored to win by five points, so a loss in any capacity, especially at home, was embarrassing.

Well, Dalton Risner Wants to Join the Vikings.

Along the way, the offensive line encountered troubles — a familiar theme of Vikings football — with one particularly confounding example. Second-year guard Ed Ingram appeared to somehow swipe the ball out of his quarterback’s hands, causing a turnover and drive-killing transaction.

And in response to the OL mishaps, some Vikings fans on social media called for a free-agent relationship with Dalton Risner, who met with the Vikings several weeks ago but left Eagan without a contract.

Dalton Risner Wants
Aug 29, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos offensive tackle Dalton Risner (66) in the third quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports.

The intriguing part? Risner is listening — and evidently wants to be a Viking.

The 28-year-old unilaterally responded to Vikings faithful’s requests for a contract signing, seeming to be all-in if his telephone rings. Have a look, and yes, these are from Risner’s X app account:

Risner was coworkers with current Vikings offensive line coach Chris Kuper in Denver for three years, so the relationship angle is already solidified. The Broncos drafted Risner in the 2nd Round of the 2019 NFL Draft, and the man was linked to the Vikings via the draft lead-up process. Now, four years later, there’s a realistic path to bring him aboard as a free agent.

Aug 10, 2022; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos guard Dalton Risner (66) signs autographs for fans after training camp at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports.

The former Bronco is an offensive guard commodity that Vikings fans aren’t used to — he protects against the pass better than the run. For years, Vikings football has showcased the inverse. Perhaps the Vikings can, once and for all, end the stale mindset of run-over-pass offensive linemen in terms of skillset emphasis and enter a free-agent agreement with Risner.

Here’s Risner’s pass-blocking versus run-blocking splits (red = pass | blue = run) per Pro Football Focus:

  • 2019 = 69.8 (P) | 60.3 (R)
  • 2020 = 61.3 (P) | 53.7 (R)
  • 2021 = 68.5 (P) | 63.2 (R)
  • 2022 = 61.1 (P) | 53.4 (R)

And the overall grades:

  • 2019 = 64.4
  • 2020 = 61.3
  • 2021 = 68.5
  • 2022 = 61.1
Expectations for
Nov 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah talks with head coach Kevin O’Connell prior to the game against the Dallas Cowboys at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

Risner should be available for $3 to $6 million per year. The 6’5″ 310-pounder is rather durable, playing 62 games in his career — starting all 62 — and missing only four contests in four years. He played 94% of all eligible games in Denver.

He also did the ‘Likes’ thing on the app in August, formerly known as Twitter. Vikings fans have feverishly encouraged Minnesota to sign Risner via tweet, and Risner has ‘Liked’ a few of those posts.

The odds of Minnesota signing Risner are unclear, but it has already met with him about a prospective affiliation in 2023, the guy who holds his job this season created a mind-boggling fumble on Sunday, and Risner very vehemently wants to play for the Vikings.

The man is gettable if general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah wants him.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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