Vikings safety Harrison Smith is staying in Minnesota for 2023, announcing his decision to remain with the team in a pretty epic way.
Purple rain is falling in the NFC North — the Minnesota Vikings just restructured safety Harrison Smith’s contract to lock him down for at least the 2023 season.
Days after the Vikings went through a gut-wrenching cap casualty bloodbath that saw the likes of Patrick Peterson, Eric Kendricks, and Adam Thielen step up to the guillotine, the franchise chose to keep Harrison Smith in its plans for a competitive future.
The 34-year-old safety signed a $64 million extension prior to the 2021 season which had made him the second-highest-paid safety in the NFL at the time; now, Smith has restructured his deal and will earn $8 million for 2023.
Smith could have celebrated his new deal with a simple tweet but chose to channel a music legend who hails from Minnesota: Prince.
Before Smith reworked his deal, a Vikings reporter texted him about his thoughts on his future in Minnesota, and the six-time Pro Bowler responded by sending a picture of an unmistakable icon.
Probably don’t need a follow-up question there.
Harrison Smith pays homage to Minnesotan icon Prince and ends up staying with Vikings
The reporter’s brief exchange with Smith started an onslaught of memes on Twitter that referenced several other Minnesota “icons” like Spam, Josh Harnett, and Yung Gravy. Even in these tumultuous times, Vikings fans still have a wry sense of humor.
Good news for them is that Smith will be staying with the team after all — the veteran safety recorded 85 tackles, five interceptions, and 10 pass breakups in 2022 and will serve a much-needed leadership role in the backfield.
With several of his star teammates released or on the trade block, Smith could have forced his way out of Minnesota but instead chose to take a pay cut and help the Vikings stay competitive in 2023.
All the trade rumors and speculation leading up to his restructured deal may have pulled on Smith’s loyalty heartstrings, but in the end Smith stayed resolute and faithful to the organization that drafted him back in 2012.
This upcoming season, Vikings new defensive coordinator Brian Flores will look to improve a pass defense that ranked at the bottom of the league last year, and Smith will pick up right where he left off entering his 12th NFL season.
Times are changing, and it’s time the Vikings reach out for something new. Maybe that “something” is a different quarterback….