Dalton Risner finally finds an NFL landing spot

Sep 18, 2023, 3:11 PM | Updated: Sep 19, 2023, 3:26 pm

The long wait for Dalton Risner is finally over.

Over six months after the Broncos 2022 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee hit free agency, the four-year Bronco and product of Wiggins High School finally found a home, agreeing to terms with the Minnesota Vikings.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport first reported the news.

So ends an arduous process — and a rough professional time of nearly eight months, dating back to his role in a sideline scuffle during the Broncos’ 51-14 Christmas Day loss at Los Angeles last year.


A four-year starter at left guard for the Broncos, Risner hit free agency in March with a degree of excitement. Even though his final campaign with the Broncos ended in an elbow injury, he still appeared to be one of the better guards available on the market.

But the market evaporated rapidly. The Broncos moved on quickly when the legal-tampering period began, adding ex-Ravens guard Ben Powers to replace Risner.

But Risner sat on the shelf. It was a stunning turn of developments for Risner, who in January expressed excitement at being able to test the unrestricted-free-agent waters for the first time. He also conveyed gratitude for the Broncos granting him the opportunity in the first place.

“Leaving every game, putting everything out there on the field and saying, ‘I had nothing left. I put everything out there.’ Whether it was a good game or a bad game of mine. And that’s something I’m really proud of,” Risner said.

“I’m not getting done with four years with the Broncos and looking back and saying, ‘Man, I could have done a lot better in areas. I left a lot out there. I didn’t show up when I needed to. I wasn’t a good leader. I wasn’t good in the community. I wasn’t good to people. I didn’t give my all in practice.’

“I’m able to leave and say, ‘I did all of those things.’ And I’m really proud of that.”

But while the Broncos moved on, Risner was unable to do so — until Monday.

Risner will now reunite with former Broncos offensive-line assistant Chris Kuper. The former Broncos guard became Minnesota’s offensive-line coach last year. Kuper’s line helped provide the power gear that spurred Minnesota to a 13-4 finish. Now he’ll have a former pupil on hand.



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