Dalton Risner Standoff Ends — Leaving Just Justin Jefferson

Dalton Risner of the Denver Broncos walks the red carpet before the NFL Honors awards special at the Phoenix Convention Center on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023. © Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Throughout the offseason, the Minnesota Vikings have stood by the notion that former backup left tackle Blake Brandel would be their new left guard. Rather than actually go down that road, they finally came to terms with Dalton Risner. The lineman performed admirably last season and was a fan favorite, so what took so long?

Dalton Risner Standoff Ends — Leaving Just Justin Jefferson

The deal with Dalton Risner is significantly lower profile than the contract extension the Minnesota Vikings are trying to hammer out with superstar wide receiver Justin Jefferson. However, it is also representative of a process that drug on for a while, and despite the two sides being an ideal fit for each other, time was taken.

Dalton Risner
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports.

Risner’s return is unfortunate news for Blake Brandel. Obviously, he will no longer be a starting lineman, and it remains to be seen what his ultimate role will look like. With rookie Walter Rouse coming in for the tackle spot, Brandel could still be looking at reps from the guard position. It seemed logical that he would move to the less demanding position, and now he will have time to acclimate as a backup.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah biding his time with Risner’s representation is also similar to what he appears intent on doing regarding Jefferson. The star wide receiver is looking to break the back with a contract that separates him from the wide receiver position. It’s hard to argue against him having earned that, and when the payday does come, the expectation should be that is what the deal will look like.

3 Vikings Developments
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

With a few key dates on the calendar, getting Jefferson’s contract done seems more imperative than ever. It has been a leading talking point in media circles for months now, and allowing that to become a distraction while Kevin O’Connell tries to ready a new quarterback in Sam Darnold and a rookie in J.J. McCarthy seems unwise.

It is entirely in the court of the Minnesota Vikings at this point, and without any ambiguity as to what should get it done, their time to pounce is here.

Starting OG
Former Denver Broncos offensive guard Dalton Risner on Monday Night Football during his first start with Minnesota. U.S. Bank Stadium, October 23rd, 2023. Risner started for an injured Ezra Cleveland.

Understandably, the Vikings tried to wait out Risner’s market and find a sort of advantage. That isn’t going to happen on the Jefferson front, and it’s time that standoff ends in the same manner.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.