He’s Back. Beloved Viking Returns.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports.

For a second consecutive year, Minnesota Vikings fans got their wish.

He’s Back. Beloved Viking Returns.

All summer last year, Vikings faithful pounded the table for then-free-agent guard Dalton Risner. In September, Minnesota’s front office finally obliged, adding the veteran lineman on a one-year deal. He stole folks’ hearts with his performance and lovable persona, but when the 2024 offseason rolled around, Risner didn’t initially re-sign with the Vikings — until now.

dalton risner
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

He’s back. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted Wednesday, 99 days before the start of the NFL season, “The Vikings are re-signing veteran guard Dalton Risner on a 1-year deal that has a signing bonus, per-game and 53-man bonuses and incentives if he’s the majority of season starter, sources say.”

So, last year, it took about four months for Vikings fans to have their wish fulfilled, and a similar timetable occurred this year. Barring something funky, Risner will resume his role as Minnesota’s starting left guard.

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.

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 most of May hit — with crickets. Meanwhile, Risner hired superagent Drew Rosenhaus in March, a sign that he wanted to avoid last year’s weird silence. The Rosenhaus plan came to fruition on Wednesday.

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.

Vikings
Minnesota General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah addressed the media about the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft from the TCO Performance Center. The Vikings have long-term draft needs at quarterback, cornerback, and interior offensive line.

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.”

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.”

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports.

While the details of Risner’s contract were not immediately available Wednesday, the parties seemingly met in the middle.

Risner’s would-be replacement this offseason, Blake Brandel, will apparently slide back into reservist duty in light of the signing.

Risner will turn 29 in July.


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 MIN 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.

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