Extension Spotlight: Vikings RT Brian O’Neill

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Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Brian O'Neill (75) walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, in Minneapolis. The Colts won 12-10. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

ESPN’s Adam Schefter announced that Minnesota Vikings RT Brian O’Neill had been handed a five-year, $92.5M extension, so fans can rest easy knowing that one part of their starting o-line is now secure. This deal makes him the second-highest paid RT in the league, only behind the New Orleans Saints’ own Ryan Ramczyk (who signed a five-year, $96M extension himself about two months ago). He joins fellow teammate S Harrison Smith (who got a four-year, $64M extension himself)

https://www.si.com/nfl/vikings/news/75-days-vikings-football-countdown-brian-oneill
https://www.vikings.com/news/harrison-smith-nfl-top-100-5th-straight-year

 

 

 

 

 

 

He will be getting a $20M signing bonus, $53.53M guaranteed, and will have an AAV of $18.5M. He’s been nothing short of phenomenal since becoming a starter just six games into his rookie year as a second-rounder in 2018. That also means that he was in a contract year, so he would’ve had talks in the offseason but Minnesota made sure to invest in him before the season began. It is worth mentioning that the extension will kick in next season, so he will be continuing to get paid as he would in the last year of his rookie deal (four years, $4.41M; AAV of $1.10M).

https://thevikingage.com/2021/07/17/market-value-minnesota-vikings-brian-oneill-taylor-moton/

Charlie Silkin, our resident Vikings fan and an author who is part of the Scouting/Draft Reports team, had this to say about his team’s right tackle: “He’s the incumbent member of a young offensive line, and he’s only 25. He was a solid 2018 draft pick at 62nd overall. He’s been one of the better run-blockers in the league and is quite a decent pass-blocker as well. He’s actually a converted tight end, so he’s super athletic and is excellent at making blocks in the second level. In my opinion, the biggest reason why they gave him that kind of a contract is because of his leadership, as he was voted as a captain this year.”

https://www.fox9.com/sports/minnesota-vikings-brian-oneill-agree-to-5-year-contract-extension

He’s started in 44 out of 48 games played, and his number of offensive snaps has risen every year (800 to 969 to 1,071), indicating his importance in the Vikings’ o-line. He could cut back on his penalties, as he has had 20 over four years (and another three that were either offset or declined). It’s great to know that he’s only given up four sacks total, and his player grade did improve each year as well (63.0 to 70.7 to 78.0). Beyond the stats, he was known for his speed during the 40-yard dash in the 2018 NFL Combine, completing it in 4.82 s. Not only was that the fastest time among all offensive linemen in that year, but it was also the fourth-fastest since 2006! Additionally, he had the best three-cone drill time among all OLs as well, at 7.14 s.

https://vikingswire.usatoday.com/2021/05/24/vikings-brian-oneill-ranks-30th-in-pffs-tackle-rankings/

The Vikings will be looking forward to having this loyal lineman leading this group that hasn’t been at its best at all times, despite letting RB Dalvin Cook run free last year for career highs in yards (1,557) and TDs (16). They’ve tried to rectify this in the draft, as they’ve had six out of eight of their remaining starting OL be their own draft picks from 2018 onward: C Garrett Bradbury (2019 first-rounder), T Blake Brandel (2020 sixth-rounder), G Ezra Cleveland (2020 second-rounder), T Christian Darrisaw (2021 first-rounder), G Wyatt Davis (2021 third-rounder), and T Oli Udoh (2019 sixth-rounder). Additionally, G Kyle Hinton is a Vikings 2020 seventh-rounder on the practice squad. O’Neill has been a bright spot so far and has been rewarded for his leadership, so it’s up to him to prove his worth and turn the Vikings’ OL misfortunes around! Charlie and I at EWFN here think that he can be the one.

 

Sources

  1. Cover Picture: https://vikingswire.usatoday.com/2021/09/08/vikings-sign-rt-brian-oneill-to-multi-year-extension/
  2. O’Neill’s Contract Details: https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/minnesota-vikings/brian-oneill-25161/
  3. Spotrac Right Tackle Contracts: https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/right-tackle/
  4. O’Neill’s NFL Statistics: https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/O/ONeiBr00.htm
  5. More O’Neill Statistics: a) 2018- https://www.pff.com/nfl/players/brian-oneill/46854?season=2018, b) 2019- https://www.pff.com/nfl/players/brian-oneill/46854?season=2019, c) 2020- https://www.pff.com/nfl/players/brian-oneill/46854?season=2020, d) 2021- https://www.pff.com/nfl/players/brian-oneill/46854
  6. O’Neill’s College Statistics: https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/brian-oneill-1.html

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