Dalton Risner Linked to Vikings’ Hated Rival

Dalton Risner
Minnesota Vikings guard Dalton Risner addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center. Dalton Risner: "We All Know We Have A Great Culture But We Came Up Short This Season."

If the Minnesota Vikings aren’t careful, a free-agent offensive lineman could land with the Green Bay Packers.

Dalton Risner Linked to Vikings’ Hated Rival

That’s the word from Bleacher Report, anyway, as Risner’s free agency has stalled for the second year in a row. For some reason or another, the man just can’t catch on like other prominent NFL free agents.

dalton risner
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

BR’s David Kenyon examined the league’s top free-agent veterans this week now that the 2024 NFL Draft is in the rearview. And when he arrived at Risner, potential landing spots included the Packers, Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Miami Dolphins.

“Are we doing this again? Last year, Dalton Risner went unsigned until Week 3, when the Minnesota Vikings signed him to a one-year, $3 million contract. He proceeded to allow zero sacks and got called for only three penalties across 745 snaps, according to Pro Football Focus,” Kenyon wrote.

The Dalton Risner
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Minnesota curiously hasn’t re-signed Dalton Risner, a beloved free-agent addition to the Twin Cities last September. Risner joined the purple team after fans demanded it — for weeks if not months — and quickly grabbed a starter’s job while Ezra Cleveland was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Kenyon added, “Risner might not be a star, but he proved last year that he’s a starting-caliber guard. Among several others, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dolphins, Packers and Lions should be in the picture. Otherwise, he may patiently wait until August or September to figure out his destination for 2024.”

Like last year, Risner’s free agency proceeded rather quietly in March, so much so that the veteran hired a new agent, Drew Rosenhaus. Many believed the Rosenhaus relationship would kickstart his job search, but with May one day away, it’s crickets.

Risner’s price in 2023 was affordable, likely because the regular season was in full swing when signed on the Vikings’ dotted line. His overall PFF grade of 57.1 didn’t set records, but his 67.4 pass-blocking score is music to the ears of Vikings fans. For years — arguably a decade — Vikings enthusiasts asked for a competent pass-blocking guard or two, and the wish was granted in 2023 with second-year lineman Ed Ingram and Risner’s midseason addition.

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur talks about defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley during a press conference Thursday, February 22, 2024, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin.

On his contract desires, Risner personally tweeted on March 12th, “Just In case anyone was wondering … I’ve started 73 games over 5 years in the league … missing only 4 games due to injury… earning the starting spot amongst 3 different coaching staffs … I’ve never asked for a bag, simply just a starting guard contract.”

Six days after the Risner tweet, KFAN’s Paul Allen asked Adofo-Mensah about the chances of Risner returning in purple, and the young executive replied, “Where we’ve wanted to be is best available. That’s where we’ve tried to set ourselves up both in a draft and acquisition standpoint. So every option is on the table. That’s all I can say about that.”

Riser also said a couple of weeks ago on a radio appearance, “I showed up there in Minnesota, and their four-year starter, within three weeks, I beat him out for the job, ended up trading him away, and I played 11 games. I thought things would change this offseason, here I am, in April, about to be May and I don’t have a job and it’s unfortunate.”

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

Risner may have to play right guard if the Green Bay angle materializes, as the Packers employ Elgton Jenkins at LG. Current right guard Sean Rhyan is more easily replaceable in the starting lineup.

Risner will turn 29 this summer. The Packers’ offensive line ranked 11th leaguewide in 2023 per PFF.

Longtime Viking Blake Brandel is expected to start at left guard if Minnesota does not re-sign Risner.

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.