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Vikings, Harrison Smith Agree to Contract Extension

EAGAN, Minn. — Harrison Smith's 10th season in Minnesota won't be his last.

The Vikings announced Sunday that the team has agreed to a contract extension with the safety, a move that extends Smith's tenure in Purple past a decade.

A five-time Pro Bowl selection and a 2017 First-Team All-Pro, Smith has been a mainstay on the Vikings defense ever since he was the 29th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

He has been among the game's best players at his position in that span, drawing praise from opposing quarterbacks and teammates alike for his versatility and do-it-all playmaking skills.

"He's the most frustrating guy I play against with his disguises," Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said in November on 'The Pat McAfee Show.' "He does so many different things from the line of scrimmage — blitz, play the curl flat in a two-invert, run back and play quarter safety, run back and play the half, run back and play the middle-field third.

"It's a little maddening sometimes with what they do," Rodgers added.

View the best photos of Vikings S Harrison Smith from the 2020 season who signed a contract extension with the team.

In the past nine seasons, analytics website Pro Football Focus has ranked Smith in the top five of his position on four separate occasions (2014, 2015, 2017 and 2019). He was also eighth overall by PFF metrics as a rookie in 2012.

Smith's best season came in 2017 when he was the league's top safety and helped anchor the league's No. 1 defense in yards and points allowed per game. The Vikings also led the NFL in third-down defense. He earned All-Pro honors that season with an overall grade of 91.8.

Known as "The Hitman," Smith made five straight Pro Bowls from 2015 to 2019 before his streak was snapped in 2020.

But Smith's high level of play over his career has cemented himself as one of the Vikings best safeties in team history.

The 32-year-old is the Vikings franchise leader with four interception returns for touchdowns, and his 28 interceptions rank seventh all-time and third among Minnesota safeties in team history.

According to Pro-Football-Reference, Smith also has 747 career tackles, 39 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks, eight fumble recoveries and seven forced fumbles in his career. He has appeared in 130 games with 129 starts.

Even as he enters his 10th season (and beyond), Smith is viewed as a leader and key figure on Minnesota's defense.

And while different players have rotated next to him over the years, the former first-rounder has been a steady and menacing presence on the back end.

First-year Vikings safety Xavier Woods said he watched Smith from afar while he was with Dallas, and that the chance to line up next to Smith made him want to join the Vikings.

"Just as much as I was preparing for Minnesota's offense, I was watching Harrison," Woods said. "That was one of the main reasons why I wanted to be here, to be able to learn from him, be able to play [with him]. [He] was the main reason why I wanted to be here."

Smith has also been heavily invested in the local community since his arrival, especially with Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities.

He has hosted numerous events with the organization in that span, including dodgeball and kickball games. He has also held his annual BIG Tackles campaign, an initiative that raises money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities with each stop he makes on an opponent.