A $2M pay cut worth Super Bowl run for Vikings' Brian Robison

EAGAN, Minn. -- Brian Robison wasn't ready to call it quits.

The veteran defensive end noted his decision to come back for a 12th season with the Minnesota Vikings was "tough" but wanted to give his football career one more shot to complete some unfinished business.

Before he was able to do that, Robison and the Vikings had to tend to some business of their own ahead of OTAs.

The 35-year-old defensive end agreed to a contract restructure, reducing his base salary from $3.2 million to $1.015 million for the 2018 season, per ESPN's Field Yates. In turn the Vikings were able to free up $2.38 million in cap space, giving them $17.1 million to work with for the 2018 season.

"At the end of the day, I said since day one that I want to bring a championship to the state of Minnesota," Robison said. "For me, if that's something that I have to give back $2 million to do, I'll gladly do it."

Robison has spent his entire career in Minnesota after being selected in the fourth round of the 2007 draft. An integral part of the Vikings' defensive line rotation and the longest-tenured player on the roster, Robison played 56 percent of snaps last season and recorded four sacks from his reserve role.

Despite milling over the idea of retirement, Robison never truly considered testing the market in hopes of finding another team to continue his career.

"I mean, I thought about it," he said. "But I think for me, one of my morals is being loyal, and I wanted to be loyal to this organization, but I also had to do what was right for me and my family and the right thing for me and my family was to come back here."

Despite having to take a pay cut, Robison says he does not believe the Vikings were disloyal to him by asking him to restructure.

"It's a business and this business is very cutthroat and there's a lot of business moves that even the guys up in the front office, they don't always want to do but it's just part of the business that they have to do," he said. "I don't really have any animosity towards them. As far as I'm concerned, it was a decision that I had to make for me and my family. It was a decision that really rested solely upon me. I had the option of not coming back but at the end of the day, this is the place that I wanted to be."

Robison's presence during OTAs and throughout the offseason is important. In addition to mentoring the new crop of defensive linemen brought in via the draft between Jalyn Holmes and Ade Aruna, Robison filled in for an injured Everson Griffen (foot) at left defensive end during Wednesday's OTA practice.

"The first day he got in the building was after he redid his deal and then he was excited about being here and seeing this building and getting around the guys again," coach Mike Zimmer said. "That's part of why we do this all the time is we get an opportunity to work with a lot of great people, good people. Our locker room's a good locker room."