Vikings Act Fast to Tie up Fusco
According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today the Minnesota Vikings have agreed to a five-year, $25 million contract extension with starting right guard Brandon Fusco.
Entering his fourth season in the league and his third as a starter, the Vikings have wasted little time in rewarding Fusco for the strides he made in his play last season. A product of Slippery Rock University, a division II school in Pennsylvania, Fusco registered only 26 snaps as a rookie in 2011 and struggled in his first season starting at right guard in 2012.
His run blocking was inconsistent after a very strong start against the Jaguars in Week 1 (+3.3) but it was his pass protection that raised real concern surrendering a team high 35 pressures (4 Sk, 7 Ht, 24 Hu) including the playoff defeat to Green Bay.
After those growing pains in 2012 Fusco flourished last season. His +15.7 overall grade placed him just inside the league’s Top 10 guards and his run blocking (+14.1) put him inside the Top 5. His metronomic consistency as a run blocker saw him earn a negative grade as a run blocker only three times in 2013 while topping +1.0 in 10 games, a mark bettered only by Evan Mathis. His strong 2013 saw him nominated as our Secret Superstar for the Minnesota Vikings back in May.
The Vikings still had Fusco under contract on his rookie deal for another year but have shown their faith in the strides he made a year ago by locking him up a few months ahead of time. If Fusco can sustain his form then the Vikings will have one of the best right sides in football with Fusco stationed between our number two graded right tackle (Phil Loadholt) and number three graded center (John Sullivan) from a year ago.