Vikings pick up option on Smith, Kalil

The Minnesota Vikings exercised their fifth-year options for Harrison Smith and Matt Kalil on Monday.

The Minnesota Vikings announced Monday that they are exercising the fifth-year options for safety Harrison Smith and offensive tackle Matt Kalil.

The fifth-year options are available for all first-round picks, but they have to be exercised by Monday for the 2012 first-round picks.

The options are guaranteed for injury only. The salaries on those fifth-year options depend on how high the player was drafted and the position he plays.

The top 10 selections – Kalil was picked fourth overall in 2012 – receive a salary equal to the average of the 10 highest salaries at the position. For the remaining first-round picks – Smith was drafted 29th overall – the salary is an average of the third through 25th highest salaries at their position.

Kalil would make $11.09 million in 2016 if he is still on the roster with his fifth-year option. Smith would make $5.28 million. It puts them under contract through the 2016 seasons, with the option to sign longer deals in the interim.

While Smith had a 2014 season worthy of Pro Bowl consideration, Kalil struggled after having offseason knee surgery.

“I didn’t do a whole lot of work on O-line related (drills) and then I went right into camp and things kind of picked up,” Kalil said at the of the season. “That definitely hurt me a little bit. It took me until after the bye week to kind of figure it out and get my technique back. I played a lot better, but it’s still not the level I’m capable of playing.”

He did play better later in the year. He was credited with allowing 12 sacks throughout the season, but he only allowed two of them from Weeks 11-17 – after the bye week.

He planned to have surgery earlier this year to fix what was still bothering his knee during the 2014 season.

Smith had a team-leading and career-high five interceptions in 2014, third-best in the NFL last year. The versatile safety was the only player in the NFL to have at least five interceptions and three sacks.


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