2017 Free Agents: Matt Kalil

Matt Kalil is a 27 year old veteran offensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings who has started 66 of 66 career games, and is currently playing under his 5th year option. He was the #4 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2012. On September 21, 2016 the Vikings placed him on Injured Reserve. When looking for comparable players, I looked for recent signings, similar age, skill, draft status, and injury history. I evaluated skill by following the grading scale at www.ScoutingAcademy.com where I was taught to evaluate players on a trait by trait basis. With that premise, the players I chose for comparison are Eric Fisher, Russell Okung, and Kelvin Beachum.

NameYear SignedContract TypeAge
Eric Fisher2016Ext25
Russell Okung2016UFA27
Kelvin Beachum2016UFA27

The table below shows the games I evaluted using All-22 film from NFL Game Pass.


I graded Kalil as a “Solid Starter” which is also the same grade I gave to Beachum. Okung and Fisher graded out as “Good Starters” however, their comparison should not be thrown out due to a slight difference in grades. Fisher is a good comparison because like Kalil, he was drafted high (#1 overall in 2013) and just signed his extension on August 1st, 2016 while under his 5th year option. Okung and Beachum are good comparisons because they both signed contracts coming off injuries. All three have signed their deals within the calender year.

Vikings Contracts

It is also important to look at how the Vikings structure their contracts for their home grown players. Below is the payout structure for Harrison Smith and Everson Griffen, two of the larger recent contracts signed by the Vikings.

Harrison Smith Payout Structure



Everson Griffen Payout Structure



 These contracts are relatively typical for Minnesota, with a signing bonus somewhere between 15 and 20% of the contract value, steady yearly salaries until the end of the contract, and annual workout bonuses. Smith, who had injury concerns in the past also has per game active roster bonuses.

Market Values


NameTeamYearsAPYFull Guarantee
Eric FisherChiefs4$12,000,000$22,000,000
Russell OkungBroncos5$10,600,000$0
Kelvin BeachumJaguars5$9,000,000$1,500,000

Okung and Beachum each received little to no guaranteed money because they were coming off injuries, and they have options on their contracts before the 2017 League Year. These contracts are essentially one year provie it deals, as both the Broncos and Jaguars are likely to decline the options, even if they plan on making either a part of their long term plans. I don’t think Kalil’s camp would go for such a structure, but it is important for the Vikings to have an early out in case Kalil doesn’t return to his form to date.

Fisher signed a contract worth $12 million a season which has also become the standard amount for left tackles, including Cordy Glenn and David Bakhtiari.  This would be the maximum value that I would anticipate Kalil being worth.

Based on the contracts of Fisher, Okung, and Beachum and accounting for other factors such as age and draft status,  this is the salary ranges I would anticipate for Kalil.

Salary Ceiling: $12,000,000

Fair Value: $10,750,000

Salary Floor: $9,500,000

Kalil Proposed Payout Structure


The offer contains $13.6 million in guarantees, which is comprised of Kalil’s $8 million signing bonus and 2016 base salary. Similar to the Smith contract the deal contains per game active roster bonuses and also annual workout bonuses which are typical of Vikings contracts.

Here is how the contract compares with other left tackles who recently signed contracts.

PlayerYear 1Year 2Year 3Year 4Year 5
Kelvin Beachum$10,000,000$17,500,000$26,000,000$35,000,000$45,000,000
Russell Okung$6,000,000$17,500,000$28,500,000$40,500,000$53,000,000
Anthony Castonzo$17,562,000$27,562,000$35,562,000$43,812,000
Eric Fisher$16,400,000$27,000,000$36,500,000$48,000,000
David Bakhtiari$18,000,000$26,000,000$37,000,000$48,000,000
Proposed Deal$13,700,000$21,300,000$32,150,000$43,000,000

In looking at the numbers you can see some dramatic differences in structure between the injured and non-injured player signings. Beachum and Okung both will trail the other three players by a significant margin, while the others all trend nearly identical. The primary difference between Castonzo and the higher valued contracts is that he took a low year 4 salary, despite a three year contract being nearly equivalent to the higher priced players.

The proposed contract will fall in between the two groups with a better payout structure and initial guarantee than the Okung and Beachum deals but fall short of the higher priced contracts for the players who have not dealt with injuries leading into their new contracts.