A big 2020 season is awaiting Vikings safety Harrison Smith

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Harrison Smith
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Harrison Smith /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) Harrison Smith /

Smith’s contract situation

Harrison Smith is heading into the second-to-last year of his deal with the Vikings. The safety penned a five-year, $51.25 million contract in 2017 that included a $10 million signing bonus and $28.578 million guaranteed.

He has been well worth the financial commitment issued by Minnesota. He is now one of the highest earners on the team and he might be looking for an extension in the not-too-distant future.

Smith still has some good years of production left at 31-years-old. He will make $8.35 million in base salary in 2020 and count $10.75 million against Minnesota’s tricky salary cap predicament.

If Smith can play up to the level we associate with the perennial Pro Bowler, then extending his stay with the Vikings would be a no-brainer. Playing safety relies more heavily on instincts rather than athleticism and Smith displays a football IQ that is up there with the very best.

Should the Vikings decide to wait until the end of Smith’s deal to offer him new terms, they will be on the hook for a $9.85 million base salary in 2021 with a cap hit of $10.25 million.

Giving Smith a longer deal might relieve some much-needed space in the short-term while he is still providing exceptional leadership and production on the field. An established veteran like Smith is essential for this team in a closing championship window, so trading him is not really an option despite his double-digit cap hit.