Vikings Reportedly Pick Up 5th Year Options On Matt Kalil, Harrison Smith


According to a report from Fox Sports, the Minnesota Vikings have made the call to pick up fifth year options on both Matt Kalil and Harrison Smith.

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Under NFL rules, fifth year options only become guaranteed in the case of injury.

The decision to pick up Smith’s option, worth $5.278 million, was not a difficult one for Rick Spielman. Smith has developed into a very good safety and should only continue to improve under Mike Zimmer. Locking Smith up long-term should be the next move for the Vikings.

The Kalil call was a little bit tougher perhaps, given the very large one-year number for him. As the #4 overall pick in 2012, Kalil’s option amounts to $11.096 million.

Kalil’s poor 2014 performance led some to speculate the Vikings might decline to exercise the option, but doing so is a very low-risk proposition given that the team can still back out unless injury causes the contract to become guaranteed.

Even if Kalil greatly improves in 2015, it’s unlikely he’ll be paid the $11 million option number for next year. Instead the Vikings would likely re-do Kalil’s contract entirely, adding more years in the process.

For Kalil to earn a chance at a long-term deal, he will have to prove he can be a consistent blind side protector for Teddy Bridgewater. The Vikings did not acquire an obvious potential successor to Kalil this year, but they did draft at least one intriguing offensive tackle option in former Pitt lineman T.J. Clemmings.

Last year the Vikings had a fifth year option on QB Christian Ponder and declined to pick it up, allowing Ponder to hit free agency. Ponder has now signed with his old OC Bill Musgrave and the Oakland Raiders.

Next year the Vikings will have to make fifth year calls on a trio of players: Sharrif Floyd, Xavier Rhodes and Cordarrelle Patterson.

Next: Is Trae Waynes Overrated Garbage?

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