Very Quietly, The Vikings Gained Firm Clarity on a Star Player’s Contract

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Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports.

Tom Pelissero always comes through, folks. His recent update reveals that the Vikings gained some firm clarity on stud left tackle Christian Darrisaw.

The NFL headlines were being dominated by the discussion of the salary cap’s increase and there was some dot-connecting with Justin Jefferson. Within that frenzy was the quiet news drop from Pelissero, who sent out a tweet clarifying the price tag for 5th-year options around the NFL.

The Vikings Gained Firm Clarity on Star Player’s Contract

Of note: the number isn’t static.

Whether a player makes it to the Pro Bowl impacts how much the 5th-year option will cost. Plus, there’s the more basic criteria of playing enough snaps to get to a certain payday. So when we look at the offensive line, these are the possible cap charges for the rookie contract’s 5th year:

  • $20,985,000 (2+ Pro Bowls)
  • $19,040,000 (1 Pro Bowl)
  • $16,037,000 (Snap Total)
  • $15,313,000 (Neither PB nor Snaps)
Have Zeroed
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Currently, Mr. Darrisaw finds himself standing behind Door No. 3: $16,037,000. That’s what the Pelissero tweet suggests and it’s where Spotrac is projecting things for 2025.

He has yet to make it to a Pro Bowl. Part of the reason for his omission comes down to some of the high-end talent that exists at offensive tackle within the NFC. Namely, Trent Williams rightly commands a pile of respect, but then one also thinks of Penei Sewell, Lane Johnson, and Tristan Wirfs (among others).

Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Also working against the Vikings’ left tackle has been health, or lack thereof. He has yet to play a full season since entering the NFL. Darrisaw has been a part of 12 games (2021), 14 games (2022), and 15 games (2023).

Now, it’s worth remembering that he hasn’t been missing massive chunks of time. Steadily, his snaps have increased throughout his career: 653 snaps in 2021, 853 snaps in 2022, and 982 snaps in 2023. Getting more recognition beyond Minnesota’s borders, though, may require the lineman to put in an entire season.

Vikings LT Christian Darrisaw Just Got More Expensive
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

Make no mistake, though: Christian Darrisaw is a cornerstone player in Minnesota. Rick Spielman pulled off an absolute heist by getting the left tackle at 23rd overall. A re-draft of the 2021 crew would mean Darrisaw isn’t dropping out of the top ten.

Darrisaw is carrying a $4.246 million cap charge into 2024. He’s going into Year 4, so he’s moving into the final season of being a total bargain.

Per Pelissero, the Vikings have until May 2nd to decide on whether to pick up the rookie contract’s 5th year. Don’t sweat the deadline: Minnesota’s GM has already made the decision. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will be picking up Darrisaw’s option.

The only difference now is that we’ve gained firm clarity on how much the 5th year will cost.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference, Spotrac, and Over the Cap helped with this piece.

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K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.