Why Haven’t Vikings Signed Dalton Risner Yet?

NFL: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings have nobody to blame but themselves, for their opening weekend loss vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. They had a more prolific offense and a more consistent defense. Yet in the end, mistakes and turnovers cost them a victory.

But up there on the week 1 blame meter, right behind those unforced errors, is yet another poor performance from the Vikings’ interior offensive line. All day long, Kirk Cousins had pressure in his face from up the middle and Alexander Mattison struggled to find rushing lanes. The Bucs defense racked up 2 sacks, 6 tackles for loss and 9 QB hurries. Garrett Bradbury went out with an injury in the 1st quarter, which didn’t help the situation up front.

Dalton Risner, who needs him?

This isn’t a new problem. The Vikings rolled into 2023 with the same problematic interior OL that gave us all headaches in 2022. So, why are we here. Why did Kevin O’Connell and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah insist on rostering six safeties and five tight ends when interior offensive linemen like Dalton Risner, who visited TCO Performance Center this offseason, have been champing at the bit to sign with the Vikings?

Well, there really isn’t a good answer to that very legitimate question. What’s even more puzzling: Dalton Risner is still sitting on the free agency market, waiting for the right team to call. According to what’s been reported by local insider Darren Wolfson (KSTP, SKOR North), over the last month or two, Risner prefers Minnesota as his landing spot. But as recent as last week, Doogie said there is still no steam behind Dalton Risner signing with the Vikings.

“I’m just telling you, a lot would have to change. At this moment, there is zero Dalton Risner steam so I just don’t see it.”

Darren Wolfson – SKOR North (9/5/23)

On Sunday, during and after the Vikings loss, Risner was on Twitter letting everyone know he was ready to sign with Minnesota whenever they are, replying to more than a half-dozen tweets that were begging him to join the purple.

What can Vikings possibly see in Ed Ingram that we don’t?

Unless Kwesi & Co know something about Dalton Risner, or the player I’m trying to replace in this blog — Ed Ingram — that we don’t? Has Risner somehow lost his talent? Is he no longer an above average pass-protecting offensive guard? Unless the answer to both of those questions is, “no”, then there is no reason why the 28-year-old guard remains unsigned.

To add more Risner fuel to the fire, he and Minnesota offensive line coach, Chris Kuper, go way back. Risner started 48 games in Denver, with Kuper as his position coach. How close are the two? Kuper was in Risner’s wedding. Last time I checked, that’s a pretty tight connection.

Yet, here we sit. The Minnesota Vikings interior OL cannot protect Kirk Cousins and Dalton Risner is still spending Sundays on his couch. Make it make sense.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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