The Vikings secured the future of their best offensive player – Adrian Peterson – on Tuesday but they're not going to dive into contract talks with their best defensive player – Harrison Smith – until the end of the season, ESPN's Ben Goessling reports.
Goessling says there is no rush to begin talking extension with Smith because the Vikings exercised an option in Smith's contract for the 2016 season. Pro Football Talk explains that the option gives Minnesota time to negotiate a long-term extension, and it is only guaranteed if Smith were to suffer an injury.
According to Spotrac, he's due to make $1.36 million this season. Without an extension he could become an unrestricted free agent in 2017.
Smith, though, isn't focused on getting a better contract.
“You see all these guys sign these big contracts—which is awesome—but it’s still a year-to-year contract when you really break it down,” Smith told David Shama of Sports Headliners on Monday. “You see guys sign five-year deals and then get cut after the first year or the second year. You gotta play your best every year, so that’s all I am worried about is just playing my best this year.”
Smith was one of the best safeties in the NFL last season, finishing with 92 tackles, 5 interceptions and a forced fumble. According to 1500 ESPN, Smith finished fifth in All-Pro voting and narrowly missed being selected to the All-Pro second team.