On the eve of the regular season, the Vikings are locking up a key piece. Minnesota has agreed to an extension with offensive tackle Brian O’Neill, the team announced on Wednesday.
It’s a five-year deal worth a whopping $92.5MM, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. That’s an average annual value of $18.5MM. He’s still pretty young, so it’s not too surprising to see O’Neill getting top-of-the-market right tackle money. With this new pact, he’s now the second-highest-paid right tackle in the league.
The deal includes $53.4MM in total guarantees and $22.6MM guaranteed at signing, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). The total guarantees place O’Neill in the top three at right tackle, but the true guarantee does not. Six right tackles are signed to deals that include more than $24MM guaranteed. O’Neill will collect $40MM through the second year of this extension.
O’Neill, a second-round pick back in 2018, had previously been set to enter the final year of his rookie deal and become a free agent at the end of the season. The Pittsburgh product had his best year last season and earned pretty strong marks from Pro Football Focus, grading out as their 24th-best overall tackle.
O’Neill became a starter a little over a month into his rookie season and has held onto his job ever since. He started all 16 games last year and won’t turn 26 until next week.
The team drafted Christian Darrisaw in the first round out of Virginia Tech to start opposite O’Neill on Kirk Cousins‘ blindside. But as Darrisaw continues to struggle to recover from core muscle surgery, it looks like Rashod Hill will be starting the season across from O’Neill.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.