Vikings pick up 5th-year options on Smith, Kalil


The Minnesota Vikings announce Monday that they've exercised the fifth-year options on the contracts of safety Harrison Smith and left tackle Matt Kalil.

The Pioneer Press says it was a "no-brainer" to pick up Smith's $5.278 million option. Kalil is due to make $11.096 million in 2016 and it's somewhat unclear if the Vikings would exercise his option.

The common opinion on both players, as outlined by the Star Tribune about a month ago, is that Smith plays like a Pro Bowl-caliber safety while Kalil has regressed since making the Pro Bowl in 2012.

The options are guaranteed only if a player is injured, so if Kalil struggles again in 2015 the Vikings can release him without paying him a dime of his 2016 option.

Smith finished the 2014 season with 93 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble and 5 interceptions but wasn't named to the Pro Bowl. Pro Football Focus named Smith to its 2014 PFF All-Pro team, saying Smith could soon challenge San Diego's Eric Weddle for bragging rights as the best safety in the NFL.

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