Vikings GM Mum on Status of Beloved Viking

The Dalton Risner
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When Minnesota Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah spoke with KFAN on Monday, the topic of Dalton Risner was essentially glossed over.

Vikings GM Mum on Status of Beloved Viking

Risner remains a free agent as of March 17th and doesn’t sound like a significant priority for Minnesota’s offseason planning.

Vikings GM
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.

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.”

Ordinarily, if the Vikings wanted a player back for the following season, the front office says something to the effect of: We’d love to have _______ _________ back but negotiations are ongoing.

Would Make A Lot
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

That didn’t happen during the KFAN interview.

On his contract desires, Risner personally tweeted last week, “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.”

In line with Adofo-Mensah’s comments from Monday, Risner’s tweet didn’t make it sound like a Vikings reunion was imminent.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports.

Back in August and September, Vikings fans demanded, tweeted, and yelled for the club to sign Risner from the free-agent wire. The Vikings front office seemed to oblige. Then, the experiment worked. To continue Risner’s stint in purple, though, general manager Adofo-Mensah might have to dust off the checkbook. Risner’s price in 2023 was affordable, likely because the regular season was in full swing when signed on the Vikings’ dotted line. But not this go-round.

Risner’s overall PFF grade of 57.1 didn’t break the Richter scale, but his 67.4 pass-blocking score is 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 addition in September.

If Risner returns, the Vikings will again showcase complete offensive line continuity, as they did in 2022 into 2023. Minnesota encountered a few struggles here and there in 2023, but on the whole, the offensive trenches markedly improved, especially because of Risner’s steady pass protection.

the Radar
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Meanwhile, Minnesota re-signed guard-tackle hybrid Blake Brandel last week for three years and $9.5 million, a signal he could take over left guard duties if Risner isn’t re-signed.

Other free-agent guard options like Laken Tomlinson are available, too, on the open market.

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).

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