MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The right side of the Minnesota Vikings’ offensive line is locked down for the foreseeable future.
The team announced Wednesday it has signed right tackle Brian O’Neill to a contract extension, the terms of which were not immediately available. The 25-year-old said it’s a five-year extension.READ MORE: Report: Vikings' Dalvin Cook Unlikely To Play Vs. Seahawks
O’Neill insists he’s not looking that far ahead, though.
“We get to go out and play a game, that’s probably the coolest part of this whole week, is that football’s back,” he said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. “And I just love the group we have and I’m excited to go down to Cincinnati and rip it with the boys.”
Those boys, according to O’Neill, are primed to exceed Vikings’ fans typically low expectations when it comes to offensive line play.READ MORE: As Vikings Prepare To Welcome Back Fans, U.S. Bank Stadium Unveils New Foods
“I think we’re in a really good place,” he said. “We got a great room, and this is the most excited I’ve been about an offensive line here. And I think hopefully we’ll be able to see the results, but we gotta go out and prove it and we gotta go out and prepare today in order to have success on Sunday.”
The Vikings drafted O’Neill out of Pittsburgh in the second round in 2018. Since then, he’s protected Kirk Cousins’ blindside in 42 starts. According to analytics site Pro Football Focus, 202 was O’Neill’s best season. He earned a 78 overall grade, out of a possible 100.
“It means a lot, just because they believe in me,” O’Neill said of the extension. “But at the same time, it means I gotta go prove it, just like I had to go prove it when they drafted me … They believe in me just like they did four years ago, but time to go prove them right again.”
O’Neill’s hoping this contract extension isn’t the last he signs in Minnesota.MORE NEWS: Gary Anderson, Jared Allen Among Preliminary Nominees For 2022 Hall Of Fame Class
“There was never really a doubt as to whether or not something was gonna work or not in my mind, because this is where I want to be,” O’Neill said. “I want to be a Viking for my whole career.”