Vikings sign rookie Kalil to four-year contract
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —There will be no holdouts for the Minnesota Vikings.
On the day players are reporting to Mankato, Minn., for training camp, the team and No. 4 overall draft pick Matt Kalil agreed to terms on a four-year contract, reportedly worth more than $32.5 million.
Kalil, the draft's top offensive line prospect, was one of 10 selections by the Vikings in April's draft and the last to sign after third-round cornerback Josh Robinson signed on Wednesday. Kalil is expected to start immediately at left tackle for Minnesota and upgrade an offensive line that went through a major transition this offseason.
The Vikings' website reported that Kalil signed his deal early Thursday morning at the team facilities at Winter Park in Eden Prairie before heading to Mankato for training camp. Thursday is the report day for players at training camp, with practices beginning on Friday.
Kalil was one of five first-round picks who had yet to sign as of Thursday morning. The reported sticking point was “offset” language in the contract. Minnesota's philosophy has been to add offset language to contracts protecting the team on guaranteed money if the player were to be cut and signed elsewhere. The Vikings could recoup some of the guaranteed money if the player did sign another contract before the end of his deal.
ProFootballTalk.com reported Kalil's deal doesn't include any offset language and his four-year contract is worth $19,770,598. The report said Kalil's contract is fully guaranteed and includes a signing bonus of $12,818,620. The other top picks in the first round all had completely guaranteed contracts. Kalil was the highest pick yet to sign.
Minnesota hopes Kalil will be a long-term franchise left tackle, protecting second-year quarterback Christian Ponder's blind side for the foreseeable future. To make room for Kalil, the team moved last year's left tackle, Charlie Johnson, to left guard after the draft. The Vikings had been seeking a quality replacement after cutting Bryant McKinnie in training camp last season.
Kalil was the second-highest drafted offensive lineman in Vikings' history behind Hall of Fame tackle Ron Yary, who was the top overall pick in 1968. Kalil was an All-American at USC in his two seasons as a starter.
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