Ex-Vikings Starter Dalton Risner Breaks Silence on Remaining Unsigned

Dalton Risner

Getty Former Denver Broncos LG Dalton Risner looks on before a game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Much like when the Minnesota Vikings waited a month to sign Dalton Risner after his visit during training camp last August, fans and Risner himself are wondering why he remains a free agent.

Appearing in an interview with Topeka, Kansas, CBS affiliate WIBW, Risner, visiting for a charity golf tournament, spoke on his extended free agency as a player who has been “undervalued” in the NFL.

“I’m a guy that realizes I’m not the best guard in the league, but I know this: I’ve started 75 games in my five-year career. I don’t miss games due to injury, definitely don’t miss it due to anything but injury. I’m a guy that you’re going to have counted on every single Sunday,” Risner said. “I’m going to be the first to the pile. I’m going to hustle. I’m going to work my butt off.  I’m not going to say I’m going to do it easily, but I’m going to block guys like Chris Jones and hold my own, and I’m just still undervalued.”

He added that after the Vikings signed him he won a starting job from Ezra Cleveland, who was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars at the trade deadline, and that he expected to not have trouble finding a role in an NFL locker room.

“I played 11 games and they relied on me every Sunday,” Risner said. “I thought that things would change this offseason; here I am in April about to be May and I don’t have a job.”

Vikings Remain Quiet on Re-Signing Dalton Risner

Dalton Risner, Nick Mullens, Minnesota Vikings

GettyDalton Risner #66 and Nick Mullens #12 of the Minnesota Vikings.

KSTP’s Darren Wolfson has kept tabs on Risner’s free agency but has only heard “crickets” regarding his return to Minnesota.

Risner, 28, has remained a coveted pass protector. He did not allow a sack on 485 pass-blocking snaps, per Pro Football Focus. However, his 30 pressures was a career-high despite starting only 11 games due to his late arrival.

Risner has also never been a plus run-blocker. Considering the Vikings’ hopes of having a more effective running game and leaning less on Sam Darnold or a rookie quarterback, Risner may not be an ideal fit.

Much like last offseason when his free agency stretched into September, Risner may have his number called in the summer months.

“I’m just going to be grateful for the blessings. … I’ve started five years in the NFL and that’s not the stuff that matters, but it’s the people around you. It’s the love. It’s the relationships. It’s it’s the time you invest in other people. That’s the real stuff. The awards they collect us the money it doesn’t matter the fame it doesn’t matter,” Risner added. “I sure hope I’m playing ball again this next year and my goal is to find a team that values a blue-collar guy like me.”

Vikings Need Help on Offensive Interior

Robert Quinn

GettyChicago Bears pass rusher Robert Quinn keeps coming up in trade scenarios with the Kansas City Chiefs.

While Risner remains in free agency, the Vikings re-signed backups Blake Brandel and David Quessenberry.

Brandel figures to slot in as the starting left guard so long as there is no other competition for the spot.

Ideally, the Vikings will make additions to create a camp battle — either through the draft of free agency.

The interior offensive line continues to be a point of concern despite the team’s Pro Bowl-caliber tackle tandem of Brian O’Neill and Christian Darrisaw.

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