Going into the 2016 season, Vikings fans knew it was going to be Blair Walsh and Jeff Locke as the team’s kicker and punter respectively.
Going into the 2017 season, Vikings fans know that both positions will be occupied by different players.
After Walsh was cut mid-season and summarily picked up by the team he missed the worst kick of his career against, the news has come out that free agent punter Locke has signed up to be the replacement for Pat McAfee in Indianapolis. From NFL.com reporter Mike Garafolo:
Jeff Locke to the Colts. He will replace Pat McAfee as the team's punter— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 9, 2017
The terms of the agreement weren’t immediately available. Locke had a tumultuous first three seasons in Minnesota, but the 2016 season was probably his best overall. Outside of the Cowboys game where he shanked a couple of crucial kicks, Locke was much more dependable and consistent last season. That said, it shouldn’t be incredibly difficult for the Vikings to find a suitable replacement for Locke in free agency or the draft. Meanwhile, the Colts are also an indoor team, which obviously suits Locke better than it did in the TCF Stadium days.
We’re just getting started folks...buckle up and hold on for what’s already shaping up to be a wild ride in the 2017 NFL free agency period.