The Minnesota Vikings have five defensive lineman in the final year of their contracts this year, most notably defensive end Jared Allen and defensive tackle Kevin Williams. But defensive end Brian Robison looks like the first to be re-signed, as he has reportedly agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $28.3 million ($13.15 guaranteed). The deal, via Tom Pelissero of USA Today, also includes a $5 million signing bonus. The team has not made an official announcement yet, but one can be expected soon.
Robison was drafted in the fourth round (102nd overall) out of Texas by the Vikings in 2007, and has 31 sacks in his six-plus NFL seasons. 17.5 of those sacks have come since he became the full-time starter at left defensive end in 2011, though he only has one sack in the first four games of 2013. The highlight of Robison’s season to this point came in Week 2 against the Chicago Bears, when he returned a Jay Cutler fumble 61 yards for a touchdown.
Robison is still in his prime at 30 years old, and his new contract will keep him in Minnesota through the 2017 season. He is likely to become the veteran leader of the Vikings’ defensive line next season with Allen and Williams unlikely to be back, and he seems well-suited to taking on that role on and off the field. Defensive tackle Fred Evans and defensive end Everson Griffen are the remaining two defensive lineman, besides Allen and Williams, who don’t have a contract with the Vikings beyond this season. If I were a betting man I would say Griffen is the next in line for a contract extension, since he may finally have an opportunity to earn an expanded role and could take over for Allen at right defensive end in 2014 and hopefully beyond.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.