Since the trade went down on Sunday, the big intrigue around Minnesota Vikings Training Camp is what, exactly, the team is going to do with newly-acquired Kaare Vedvik. I assumed that he was going to be brought in to replace kicker Dan Bailey, who struggled with the Vikings last season and hasn’t exactly been lighting it up in camp either, for the most part.
But when the Vikings chose not to release Bailey or punter Matt Wile after officially acquiring Vedvik, there’s been a lot of mystery surrounding the special teams situation. The long snapping situation has been resolved, with the team (unsurprisingly) choosing Austin Cutting over Kevin McDermott, but that’s the only question that’s been answered.
Thus far, Vedvik has been seen kicking field goals, punting the ball, holding for field goals, and possibly even giving tours of the Vikings’ new facilities in Eagan. I can’t confirm that last one for sure, but all of the other ones have been reported by folks on the ground at camp.
The more “official” word is that Vedvik is here to “compete” with Bailey and Wile. But let’s be honest. . .you don’t give up draft capital for a guy to come in and “compete.” Vedvik is making the team in some way, shape, or form. It’s just a matter of who he’s going to replace.
From a purely salary cap-based perspective, the savings from releasing either Bailey or Wile would be minimal. Bailey has a $1 million cap figure for this season, but only $250,000 of that is guaranteed. With the “Top 51” rule, there would be a small cap savings to be had by letting Bailey go. Wile, on the other hand, has a $645,000 cap hit with zero guaranteed money, so the savings for cutting him loose would be fairly small as well.
As far as performance is concerned, yes, Bailey had his struggles last year, but still rates as one of the five most accurate kickers in NFL history. He’s also had four seasons where he’s been in the top 10 in field goal percentage. Wile’s track record is much shorter, as last year was his first full season as an NFL punter. (He played in four games in 2016, splitting time with the Arizona Cardinals and Atlanta Falcons.) He wound up tied for 14th in gross punting average and was ninth in net punting average last season.
Vedvik has never appeared in a regular season NFL game, so we don’t have a whole lot to compare him to, but it appears that he could end up filling either the punting or kicking role for this team. There’s a slight chance that he could even do both. The NFL hasn’t seen a player handle both punting and placekicking duties since Frank Corral did it for the Los Angeles Rams in 1981.
While the idea of having one player handle both punting and placekicking duties might sound intriguing. . .it would open up a roster spot for a position player, after all. . .it doesn’t seem likely that it would happen. The flip side of that would be that if Vedvik were to get injured in that scenario, you would then have to make two roster moves in order to replace him rather than just one.
With that in mind, let’s give everyone an opportunity to call their shot as to how they think the Vikings are going to handle this when the dust settles and the smoke clears. Hit the poll below and let us know what you think!
What do you think the ultimate outcome of the Vikings’ special teams moves will be?
This poll is closed
Kaare Vedvik at kicker, Matt Wile at punter, Dan Bailey cut
Kaare Vedvik at punter, Dan Bailey at kicker, Matt Wile cut
Kaare Vedvik at both kicker and punter, Dan Bailey and Matt Wile both cut
Dan Bailey at kicker, Matt Wile at punter, Kaare Vedvik cut, Vikings waste 5th round pick