The Minnesota Vikings locked up rising safety Harrison Smith for at least another year when they picked up his $5.278 million fifth-year option for the 2016 season. There’s a good chance he’ll be in Minnesota a lot longer than just the next two seasons, though.
"There’s no doubt this is where I want to be," Smith said, via Chris Thomasson of the Pioneer Press. Asked if he’ll still be with the Vikings for the 2017 season, the 26-year-old said, "You can count on it."
Smith, a 6-foot-2, 214-pound Notre Dame product, was a first-round pick of the Vikings in the 2012 NFL Draft (29th overall). His impact was immediate, as the rookie started all 16 games at free safety and returned two of his three interceptions for touchdowns.
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Last year, Smith’s production was hard to ignore. In addition to 90-plus tackles, he recorded five interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), three sacks and a forced fumble.
Still, somehow, he was snubbed from the Pro Bowl.
"Making the Pro Bowl is not one of my goals,” Smith said, per the Pioneer Press. "The type of goals that I have are things that will help the team win."
Smith is likely to have a bright future with the Vikings, because he’s the exact type of selfless superstar teams like to build around.