EAGAN, Minn. — Brian O'Neill has earned his second contract with the Vikings.
The team announced Wednesday that it has agreed to a multiyear extension with the right tackle, a move that will help solidify Minnesota's offensive line for years to come.
O'Neill, who will play the 2021 season on the final year of his rookie contract, was a second-round pick (62nd overall) in 2018.
O'Neill has appeared in 46 career games with 42 starts in Purple, with all of them coming at right tackle. He took over the starting right tackle job in mid-October of the 2018 season and hasn't looked back since.
Viewed by many as Minnesota's best offensive linemen, O'Neill is a leader of a group that features a pair of rookies plus a handful of other young players that will hopefully continue to develop.
"I mean, people might ask me a couple more questions here or there, but I really don't think [my role] has [changed]," O'Neill said in mid-August. "I try to be the same guy every day this year as I have been the last couple years. Try to be myself, and hopefully that energy and attention to detail attracts guys and they want to come along."
Others have noticed O'Neill blossoming into one of the league's better right tackles over the past three seasons in Minnesota. During joint practices with Denver last month, Broncos star pass rusher Von Miller said O'Neill was one of the league's "best right tackles."
"I mean, that's a Super Bowl MVP who's probably going to be wearing a Gold Jacket," O'Neill said, showing a mutual admiration. "It was pretty cool to get two days of work against him in that environment, being able to get that many reps in that many different situations."
View the best photos of Vikings T Brian O'Neill from the 2020 season.
Analytics website Pro Football Focus gave O'Neill a grade of 78.0 in 2021, a mark that was the highest among Minnesota's linemen. That number was also the 24th-best grade out of every tackle in the league, and an improvement on his grades from the previous two seasons.
In 2019, his 70.8 grade ranked 31st, while his rookie PFF grade was 63.0.
He said in late May that it was his hope that a multiyear extension could be figured out with the Vikings and his representation.
"I want to be here. I want to be here long-term, I love it here," O'Neill said. "Nothing would make me happier than to be here long term."
That deal is now done, with O'Neill now set to be a leader up front in Purple.