Why is former Vikings guard Dalton Risner still unsigned?

Free-agent guard Dalton Risner
Free-agent guard Dalton Risner / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

A year ago at this time, Dalton Risner was doing the same exact thing that he is right now: waiting for an NFL team to give him an opportunity to play during the upcoming season. Eventually, Risner signed with the Minnesota Vikings, but a few months after the conclusion of the 2023 season, he is, once again, waiting for a call.

So what's the hold-up? Risner didn't perform at a Pro Bowl level during his 15 appearances with the Vikings last year, but he wasn't terrible, either. The guy he replaced in Minnesota, Ezra Cleveland, even landed a multi-year contract extension this offseason from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

So why doesn't Risner have a place to play yet for the 2024 season? What could be standing in the way of him landing another opportunity to play in the NFL?

Minnesota Vikings should not be interested in bringing back Dalton Risner

In 2023, Risner signed a one-year contract worth $3 million to play for the Vikings. He might be looking to make a little more in 2024, but it's hard to imagine he wants to break the bank with his next contract.

Could it be his actual play out on the field?

Last season, Risner had the 23rd-best pass-blocking grade from PFF among qualifying guards in the NFL. However, he also had the 67th-best run-blocking grade from PFF among qualifying guards in the league, and that is what might be keeping some teams away from him.

Whatever the reason actually is for Risner still being without a team a few days before the start of June, Minnesota should stay far, far away from him.

If the Vikings truly wanted him back for another season, they would have re-signed him by now. Plus, it seems like a bit of a red flag when none of the other 31 teams in the league have attempted to sign him.

Minnesota took their chance on Risner last season, and now it seems that they're comfortable moving forward without him. At this point, it would probably be more surprising than anything if he re-signs with the Vikings before the start of the 2024 season.

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