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Dalton Risner On His Free Agency: 'Just (Want) a Starting Guard Contract'

Risner believes he's earned a contract that values him as a quality starter.
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Former Vikings guard Dalton Risner is a free agent for the second consecutive year. Unlike last year, when he didn't sign with Minnesota until September, he's hoping to land with a team pretty soon this time around. As of Tuesday afternoon, it hasn't happened yet.

Risner, who has watched as a bunch of guards have gotten paid since free agency opened on Monday, took to social media to speak on his situation.

"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," Risner tweeted on Tuesday.

The fact that he hasn't yet agreed to re-sign with the Vikings might suggest that their initial offer — if one has been made — wasn't in line with what he feels he deserves, even though he wants to make it clear that he's not asking for some massive contract. It'll be interesting to see if he winds up sticking around in Minnesota or if he ends up elsewhere for his sixth NFL season.

The Vikings re-signed backup guard Blake Brandel on a three-year, $9.5 million deal on Monday, but they still need a starting-caliber LG to complete their offensive line.

Risner, 28, signed a one-year deal for $4 million last September, following a prolonged first dip into free agency. He wound up entering the starting lineup midseason and making the Vikings feel comfortable trading Ezra Cleveland to the Jaguars at the deadline. Risner, who spent his first four years with the Broncos after being drafted in the second round in 2019, is a solid-but-unspectacular guard who fits well in the locker room. From our UFA profile:

Risner wound up starting the final 11 games of the season for the Vikings, establishing himself as a fan favorite with his entertaining press conferences and constant hustle both during and after plays. However, his performance on the field wasn't anything special. PFF grades aren't everything, but his 57.1 overall mark was the lowest of his five-year career, ranking 44th among 65 guards who played at least 500 snaps in the regular season. As was always the case with Risner in Denver, he graded better in pass blocking (21st/65) than run blocking (54th/65).

PFF isn't everything, and there are those who are big fans of Risner's tape. But it's possible the Vikings will end up deciding that they can replace Risner and get similar or better production from a different free agent or draft pick.

Dalton Risner

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