Dalton Risner Connected to AFC Team — Again

dalton risner
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Some team — at some point — will sign Dalton Risner, and the malarkey will be over.

Dalton Risner Connected to AFC Team — Again

The veteran offensive guard is currently experiencing his second consecutive bizarre offseason, struggling to find a new team even though he’s a productive pass-protection commodity whose profile also includes an amicable locker room persona.

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And according to ESPN, Risner would look marvelous in purple, just not the Vikings’ hue. Bill Barnwell authored an article this week detailing 10 moves for NFL teams to ponder, and in his estimation, Risner should sign with the AFC’s purple team, the Baltimore Ravens.

“At this point, unfortunately, Risner is probably looking at another one-year deal with the hopes of proving himself for a more significant contract next offseason. His best landing spot would be in Baltimore, where the Ravens have a track record of both taking fliers on undervalued linemen and earning them new contracts elsewhere around the league. Morgan Moses would be an example of the former, and John Simpson is a clear case study for Risner after emerging as a useful player in Baltimore’s offense a year ago,” Barnwell opined Tuesday.

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.”

Minnesota is on tap to start Blake Brandel at Risner’s spot, left guard, which would mark a serious promotion for the reservist lineman.

Barnwell added about Risner and the Ravens, “The Ravens also love to play the compensatory pick formula game, and they can play both sides with Risner. By waiting until after June 1 to bring in the veteran guard, they won’t cost themselves one of the four picks they’re currently set to land after losing Simpson, Jadeveon Clowney and Patrick Queen in free agency. (The Vikings also wouldn’t be eligible to receive a compensatory pick for losing Risner.) Then, if Risner finally does sign that long-term deal with another team next offseason, Baltimore would be in position to pick up a compensatory selection for its one-year dalliance with him.”

When the 2023 season wrapped up and former left guard Ezra Cleveland was long gone via trade to the Jacksonville Jaguars, most Vikings fans believed Risner would re-sign in Minnesota after a successful first campaign. But then March, April, and May hit — with crickets.

John Harbaugh
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Meanwhile, Risner hired superagent Drew Rosenhaus in March, a signal that he wanted to avoid last year’s weird silence. So far — no luck.

Risner’s overall PFF grade of 57.1 didn’t set records, but his 67.4 pass-blocking score was 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.

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.”

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports.

At the beginning of May, The Athletic’s Alec Lewis claimed money was evidently the sticking point for Minnesota’s front office and Risner’s free agency. Lewis wrote, “Until free agent Dalton Risner lowers his monetary ask (he recently switched agents to Drew Rosenhaus, with whom the Vikings have a great relationship), it’s difficult to see a path toward his return.”

With the Ravens, Risner, in theory, would join an instant contender and likely reach the postseason for the first time in his career.

He’ll turn 29 in July.

Last month, The 33rd Team named the Ravens a “fit” for Risner, too.

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.