One of the top free agents still on the open market has found a home. Guard Dalton Risner has agreed to a deal with the Vikings, as first reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. 9News’ Mike Klis adds the one-year pact includes $2.5MM guaranteed and can reach a value of up to $4MM.
Risner was one of the best O-linemen in the 2023 free agent class, particularly amongst interior blockers. The 28-year-old saw a number of other guards ink lucrative deals at the onset of free agency – including Ben Powers, who is in place as Denver’s new left guard starter. Risner himself remained unsigned through the summer, and it was not until July that he reportedly picked up interest regarding a deal.
That included a visit with the Vikings, but no deal came about as a result. Minnesota has run into injury troubles up front to begin the campaign, however, and they have now circled back to the former second-rounder as an in-season addition. Risner’s preference was to join the Vikings, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler notes, and he will now have the opportunity to resume his career and boost his 2024 free agent stock.
The Kansas State alum logged 62 starts across his four Broncos campaigns, proving to be durable along the way. Risner drew consistent PFF evaluations during that span, with his pass protection receiving encouraging marks. He will look to maintain his level of play on a Vikings O-line which has seen Oli Udoh go down for the season while also dealing with injuries to left tackle Christian Darrisaw and center Garrett Bradbury.
Ezra Cleveland and Ed Ingram are in place as the Vikings’ guard starters. It will be interesting to see if Risner unseats either of them for a first-team role or serves in a depth capacity along the interior. In any event, Minnesota has acquired a reinforcement up front while allowing Risner to land a new gig following his lengthy free agent stay.