5 Landing Spots for Dalton Risner

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."

Dalton Risner 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.”

5 Landing Spots for Dalton Risner

To date, the Minnesota Vikings have not re-signed the popular lineman, and the deal probably would’ve happened by now. Risner hired superagent Drew Rosenhaus a couple of weeks ago to handle his ongoing free agency.

So, consider these teams his top five landing spots for 2024 (if he doesn’t re-up in Minnesota). They’re ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = most likely landing spot) while using some insight from ESPN’s pass-block win rate.

5. Las Vegas Raiders

Dalton Risner
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports.

Available Cap Space: $24.2 million
2023 Pass-Block Win Rate Ranking:

Both guards slated to start for the Raiders in 2024 fired up Pro Football Focus grades in the low 60s. That’s decent but not ideal. Risner’s pass protection could help Gardner Minshew, Aidan O’Connell, or whoever the Raiders draft in 2.5 weeks — maybe Michael Penix Jr.

Rich Scangarello, Las Vegas’ current quarterbacks coach, was Risner’s offensive coordinator in Denver for a year. Sometimes those coaching connections mean something in free agency.

4. San Francisco 49ers

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Available Cap Space: $6.7 million
2023 Pass-Block Win Rate Ranking: 20th

The 49ers quietly struggled via pass-blocking last year, but they made it to the Super Bowl, so nobody really cared. The offense, on the whole, also didn’t flounder, a tip of the cap to Kyle Shanahan’s playcalling efficiency.

San Francisco’s starting left guard — Risner’s natural spot — Aaron Banke, tallied a 54.9 PFF grade in 2023. Not great.

3. Miami Dolphins

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports.

Available Cap Space: $3.2 million
2023 Pass-Block Win Rate Ranking:

Even worse than the 49ers’ — and actually really terrible — pass protection last year was the Dolphins. Unless Miami has grand plans for the draft or signs a Risner alternative like Laken Tomlinson, Mike McDaniels’ starting guards on paper are awful.

Risner would be an instant upgrade to Isaiah Wynn and Robert Jones at either left or right guard.

2. Dallas Cowboys

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Available Cap Space: $6.7 million
2023 Pass-Block Win Rate Ranking:

Dallas ranked in the middle of the road per pass protection last year — and then basically signed no free agents this offseason. If the season started tonight, the Cowboys would start T.J. Bass at left guard, who ranked 57th of 79 qualifying guards last season, according to PFF.

Maybe the Cowboys can get really snazzy and actually sign a free agent. Risner is waiting and probably wouldn’t mind joining a Super Bowl contender.

1. Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni in the first half as the Philadelphia Eagles came to East Rutherford, NJ, and defeated their division rivals, the New York Giants, 48-22 on December 11, 2022. Philadelphia Eagles Came To East Rutherford, NJ, And Defeat Their Division Rivals, The New York Giants, On December 11, 2022. © Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Available Cap Space: $30.6 million
2023 Pass-Block Win Rate Ranking: 7th

The Eagles always find a way to figure out their trenches, and a method to that this offseason is to sign Risner. Vic Fangio is the Eagles’ defensive coordinator, and he served as Risner’s head coach for three seasons in Denver.

Tyler Steen is on tap to start at right guard, and his pass-blocking, per PFF, scored in the 20s last season. Absolutely dreadful.

Philadelphia could sign Risner and flip him over to right guard, with Landon Dickerson staying at LG.

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.