The Current Hiccup with Dalton Risner & Vikings

Even National Voices
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Just like last year, Dalton Risner’s free agency and offseason have been an odyssey.

The Current Hiccup with Dalton Risner & Vikings

A lovable human and productive pass protector, the man’s free agency has flown under the radar in back-to-back years, so much so that no team has taken the plunge for his services.

Dalton Risner
Minnesota 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.”

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 with the purple team after a successful first campaign. But then March and April hit — with crickets.

According to The Athletic’s Alec Lewis, money is evidently the sticking point for Minnesota’s front office and Risner’s free agency. Lewis wrote this week, “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.”

vikings
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports.

Risner’s price demands are unclear, but they must be significantly higher than his September addition last year to Minnesota’s roster.

“Otherwise, Minnesota could turn to Brandel at left guard. The coaching staff has raved about him for a couple of years, but he does not have much experience. His $3.1 million fully guaranteed deal is a signal of that belief, and it helps that Minnesota drafted Jurgens in the event of an injury on the interior,” Lewis added.

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.

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

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.”

Vikings
Minnesota Vikings 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.

Risner also said a few 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.”

Shortly after the 2024 NFL Draft, Bleacher Report mentioned the Green Bay Packers as a possible landing spot for Risner.

There’s no timetable for the 28-year-old to sign with the Vikings or anywhere, but without him on Minnesota’s roster, the franchise would roll with the aforementioned Brandel or explore a free agent like Greg Van Roten, for example.

Vikings mandatory minicamp kicks off in 32 days.


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.

Share: