Vikings Expected to Pick Up $16 Million Option on Former 1st-Round Pick

Christian Darrisaw, Vikings

Getty Left tackle Christian Darrisaw of the Minnesota Vikings.

The Minnesota Vikings have navigated considerable roster turnover since the regime change two years ago, but there is one big piece of the puzzle they’re certain to keep around as long as possible.

Left tackle Christian Darrisaw is heading into the fourth season of his four-year, $13.35 million rookie contract in 2024. And as a former first-round selection (No. 23 overall in the 2021 NFL draft), the Vikings have the option to exercise a fifth-year option on the offensive lineman’s deal by early May.

Doing so will cost Minnesota north of $16 million for the 2025 season, but that is a moderate price to pay given Darrisaw’s production across his first three professional campaigns and a market value projection of $24.6 million annually over a new four-year agreement (nearly $98.5 million in total), per Spotrac.

Alex Kay of Bleacher Report predicted on April 17 that the Vikings will exercise their fifth-year option on Darrisaw with little debate or deliberation.

[Penei] Sewell, [Rashawn] Slater and Darrisaw have all developed into franchise tackles for their respective teams,” Kay wrote. “While health has been a slight issue for the latter two, both have established themselves as anchors in the offensive trenches.”

Vikings LT Christian Darrisaw Among Best Tackles in NFL When Healthy

Christian Darrisaw, Minnesota Vikings

GettyLeft tackle Christian Darrisaw of the Minnesota Vikings.

While he may not have shown consistent flashes of Hall of Fame potential, in part due to some of the injury issues Kay referenced above, Darrisaw’s future isn’t one to sleep on either. He has appeared in 41 of a possible 51 regular-season games, including 39 starts, across his three-year professional tenure in Minnesota.

When healthy, Darrisaw has been among the better offensive tackles in the NFL. He spent several weeks of the 2022 campaign near the very top of the position rankings on Pro Football Focus (PFF) and finished the 2023 campaign as the 7th-best tackle in the game out of 81 qualifying players, based on PFF’s advanced analytics metric.

Darrisaw allowed 6 sacks and incurred 7 penalties across 982 snaps at left tackle in 15 starts for the Vikings last season. He also graded out as a solid run blocker with a grade of 73.9 from PFF.

Vikings Must Soon Come to Long-Term Deal With Superstar WR Justin Jefferson

Justin Jefferson

GettyMinnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson.

Darrisaw’s one-year extension isn’t the only contract Minnesota must consider this offseason, and perhaps not even the most important. That distinction likely belongs to three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who has been extension-eligible since last offseason and will play on a $19.7 million fifth-year rookie option of his own in 2024.

Jefferson will probably reset the market at the receiver position, which would entail a deal worth more than $140 million overall and $30 million annually, based on the current top wideout salaries around the league.

Problematic for Minnesota is that it waited to extend Jefferson until this offseason. Not only would the star receiver likely have been cheaper last year given the lower salary cap, but he also would have been less hard to appease with quarterback Kirk Cousins under contract.

Now, the Vikings won’t just have to pay Jefferson a record-setting sum to get him to return, they will also have to show him that they have a solid plan under center moving forward. At the moment, that plan consists of Sam Darnold and potentially a first-round draft pick spent on a franchise QB yet to be named.

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