Matt Kalil‘s season ended in September when a hip injury shut him down for the season. The pending free agent didn’t get a chance to show the Vikings what he could do in his contract year, but he still hopes to remain in Minnesota, as Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press writes.
“I’d love to stay here the rest of my career,” Kalil said. “This is the team I started out with in the NFL, and I’ve been playing with these guys. I’ve met a lot of great friends here, my wife is from here. It’d be a good place to finish my career.”
To re-sign with the Vikings, Kalil will probably have to agree to a pay cut. This year, he is earning $11.096MM for what amounted to a two-game season and it’s hard to see the team agreeing to that kind of guaranteed cash again. A one-year deal with a moderate base and incentives could make sense for the Vikings, but Kalil seemed to bristle at the suggestion that his health could impact his leverage.
“I don’t think so,” Kalil said. “I will have a full recovery. That’s what happens. People get hurt in football.”
Under the new IR rules, Kalil could technically return this season, but he says that is not a realistic possibility as he is still healing from his surgery. Kalil’s hip won’t heal until around Christmas and even then, he’ll be a long way from being in football shape.
The Vikings’ offensive line has been ravaged by injuries this season. Over the weekend, tackle Jake Long suffered a season-ending Achilles injury, forcing the team to start T.J. Clemmings at one tackle spot with Jeremiah Sirles at the other. Clemmings has been among the worst blockers in the NFL this year. And, despite a decent start to the year, Sirles has struggled in recent weeks.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.