Another Record-Breaking Contract Likely on the Horizon for Vikings

vikings
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It’s not just Justin Jefferson.

Another Record-Breaking Contract Likely on the Horizon for Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings spent about a year and a half negotiating Jefferson’s record-breaking contract, but before too long — if it hasn’t already — the franchise will do virtually the same thing all over again, this time with left tackle Christian Darrsiaw.

Christian Darrisaw
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Darrisaw’s representation and the Vikings’ front office have reportedly already begun the exploratory segments of an extension, and when the time arrives, the young lineman’s contract will probably be the largest for an offensive tackle in NFL history.

For now, Detroit Lions lineman Peneii Sewell owns the honor of the league’s highest-paid offensive tackle (he plays RT), signing a four-year, $112 million deal a couple of months ago. Yet, based on how the NFL salary cap constantly escalates — see: Jefferson’s deal two weeks ago — Darrisaw could check just over Sewell’s numbers, somewhere in the neighborhood of four years and $114 million.

Christian Darrisaw Is
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And similar to Jefferson and his draft-class mate CeeDee Lamb, Darrisaw will have company, with one left tackle waiting on the other. Rashawn Slater will be right there with Darrisaw waiting on an extension, though Slater’s performance hasn’t quite tipped the scales like Darrisaw’s in the last three years.

Last month, ESPN analyzed all impending deals for the league’s top stars, and Darrisaw made the cut. “Darrisaw is every bit the building block that Jefferson is, despite the imbalance in public discussion between the two. That’s the case despite the fact that Darrisaw has yet to earn an initial spot in the Pro Bowl (he was a fourth alternate in 2023), let alone an All-Pro designation,” Kevin Seifert wrote.

Trade
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Darrisaw still hasn’t fetched his first Pro Bowl nod — a bizarre thing — but will still break the bank within the next 12 months. It’s always the same situation for the Virginia Tech alumnus who has established himself as a premiere left tackle. Trent Williams, Lane Johnson, and Penei Sewell received the honor over Darrisaw in 2023, and as a fourth alternate, Darrisaw got no official love from voters.

Seifert continued, “Where Darrisaw stands in the NFL hierarchy of left tackles is debatable, but what’s indisputable is that the Vikings view him as a player who can hold down his position into the next decade. There have been initial talks between the sides, as would be expected, but there is no indication that a deal — which would be two years early, something that happens in relatively rare occasions — is imminent.”

Contract
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Pro Football Focus ranked Darrisaw as the eighth-best offensive tackle in 2023, and his consistency is top-notch. The only knock on Darrisaw is injury — he’s missed 18% of his career games due to various ailments.

If Darrisaw stays healthy and perhaps even brings home Pro Bowl bacon for the first time in 2024, his extension will shatter all norms and possibly best Sewell’s. The alternative would be a deal in the vicinity of Sewell’s if he doesn’t break the record because of injuries or otherwise, but Darrisaw’s impending extension won’t be dwarfed by much.

Darrisaw turned 25 two weeks ago.


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.