5 bold predictions for the rest of the Vikings 2021 offseason

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) Brian O'Neill
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) Brian O'Neill /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) Brian O’Neill /

Minnesota will agree to a contract extension with O’Neill

The Vikings have struggled to build their offensive line for the past decade, but they seem to have solved the problem this offseason. With the addition of Davis and Darrisaw, Minnesota finally has bigger, stronger players in the trenches and can’t afford to screw it up.

That’s why Brian O’Neill is about to get paid.

O’Neill has been the Vikings’ best lineman since being selected with the 62nd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Initially a project out of Pittsburgh, O’Neill entered the starting lineup midway through his rookie season and has been one of the few constants along the offensive line.

The best part about O’Neill is that he has continued to improve. O’Neill’s overall Pro Football Focus grade has increased each season and his 78.0 overall grade was the highest on Minnesota’s offensive line in 2020. O’Neill has also improved in pass protection, allowing a total of five sacks in his first three seasons.

The Vikings had to be thinking of O’Neill when they designated Kyle Rudolph as a June 1 cut, putting aside an extra $7.9 million in cap space. With that money in place, Minnesota is around $14 million under the cap and can offer O’Neill a contract in the neighborhood of La’El Collins (five years, $50 million with Dallas), Halapoulivaati Vaitai (five years, $45 million with Detroit) and Jack Conklin (three years, $42 million with Cleveland).

With his performance and the Vikings cap situation, it would be a surprise if the two sides didn’t reach a deal before the start of training camp.