Harrison Smith signs big extension with Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings will keep their prized safety around for many more years as Harrison Smith signed an extension through 2021.

The Minnesota Vikings and safety Harrison Smith should remain together for six more years after the team announced a contract extension for Smith on Monday morning.

Smith was entering the final year of his contract as the Vikings picked up his fifth-year option for 2016, and the extension adds five years to the end of that, until 2021, with $28.578 million guaranteed, according to ESPN. That is the most guaranteed money for a safety in the NFL and his annual average of $10.25 million is the most among safeties on a multi-year deal.

“It’s very hard to put into words right now,” Smith told Vikings.com after signing the extension. “Coming into the league, getting an opportunity, getting drafted by Rick (Spielman), being able to stay around here, to be a part of what we’re building around here, what Coach (Mike) Zimmer is building, it’s huge in every type of way I can think of – being able to stay in this build and chase that championship.”

Spielman, the general manager, said in February he thought a new deal for Smith would be coming “pretty soon,” but played the negotiating game, carefully and gamefully trying not to raise Smith’s stock too high.

http://www.scout.com/nfl/vikings/story/1670945-joseph-smith-named-in-nfl...  “I just think Harrison, the way he runs our back end, I think he’s one of the better playmakers. Better. Please put better. Not best. Better playmakers at safety,” Spielman said, clearly trying to keep a new contract affordable for the Vikings. “He can play free and strong. He can be effective on the deep end, and he’s just as effective when he gets walked up to the line of scrimmage. So he’s a good safety. Good. I’m just saying he’s a good safety.”

As it turned out, the additional five years could cost the Vikings as much as $51.25 million, according to the Pioneer Press. 

Last year, Smith was a Pro Bowl player and is the only NFL player since 2012 with at least 300 tackles (311), five sacks (5½), 10 interceptions (12) and four interception returns for touchdowns.

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