Jared Allen, Brian Robison and Everson Griffen all have contracts scheduled to expire after the 2013 season. Each of the top three defensive ends on the Minnesota Vikings roster says he isn't worried about his contract situation.
Count Robison among those.
"I let that take care of itself," Robison said. "The bottom line is that I've just got to go out there and compete and try to become a better ballplayer and do the best I can on the field. Everything after that will take care of itself."
In fact, it already has to a degree. A little more than two years ago, Robison was in a similar situation. He and incumbent starter Ray Edwards were both scheduled to become free agents. The Vikings chose Robison over Edwards and it turned out to be the right choice.
While Robison took over as the starter opposite Jared Allen, Edwards signed a bigger contract with the Atlanta Falcons and saw his career slowly fizzle.
Prior to that, Robison signed a three-year contract with the Vikings that could be worth as much as $13.5 million. When he hit the incentives to essentially max out that contract, it left him and the team satisfied with the deal.
But just as Robison entered the league as a fourth-round draft pick looking to prove himself – first that he belonged, then that he could be an every-down player capable of stopping the run – he now enters the 2013 season looking to prove something else. This time, he is hoping to rebound from an injury-filled season in which shoulder and elbow injuries didn't take him out of action much but likely hindered his effectiveness.
"It really did. There was some times out there where (the shoulder), paired along with the elbow brace that I was wearing, I felt like a lot of times I was playing with no arms out there and it was kind of a weird deal," he said. "You can really see in the playoff game when I came back and then six days later we had to play another game, it was one of those deals where it just wasn't ready to go, but the competitor in me didn't want to sit out."
He didn't sit out much. He missed only one game because of the injuries and still played in 76 percent of the defensive snaps.
He avoided surgery after the season and is hoping better health in 2013 will lead to renewed fortunes contractually.
"Bottom line, it's all going to be based on what I do this year. They can say what they want about the injury and things like that. The bottom line is it's all about how you play on the field," he said. "If I go out there and I have good year this year, we'll let things fall in place however it may be."
Robison entered the league looking to prove he belonged. Then he wanted to prove he deserved to be a starter. In the past two seasons as a starter, he has a combined 16½ sacks and six forced fumbles.
He's settled into a nice career in Minnesota and is hoping for double-digit sacks on the field and stability off the field.
"I'd love to be here. It's a place I've been. This is going on seven years. We've established a life here," he said. "I've been able to work myself into a starting role, had two good years. It could always be better, but I've had two solid years of starting under my belt."
And hoping for more.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
Robison wants more good years with Vikings
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