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Clarity on special teams?

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The kicking competition appears to be over.

NFL: Preseason-Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings Ben Ludeman-USA TODAY Sports

The kicking situation for the Minnesota Vikings has been as sticky as ‘The Bonnie Situation’ potentially was for Winston Wolf in Pulp Fiction. But just as Mr. Wolf worked under a tight deadline to avoid disaster and save the day for everyone (well, except for Marvin, who got shot in the face), it appears the Vikings are cleaning up their kicking mess just as their own deadline looms.

Last night, in their 27-23 loss to the Buffalo Bills in the preseason finale, Dan Bailey seemed to have secured the kicking job with a solid night. Or did Kaare Vedvik lose it with another shaky performance? I don’t know, you tell me, as I can go either way on this one. However you view it, though, Bailey has really come on strong since Vedvik arrived, and has the inside track to be the Vikings kicker for 2019.

In the game, Bailey went 2/2 on field goal attempts, hitting from 54 and 43 yards. Vedvik went 1/2, missing from 37. He was good from 27 yards...from the left hash, ironically enough.

Because the Football Gods have a wicked sense of humor, that’s why.

Either way, after a shaky start to training camp for Bailey, the Vikings traded a fifth round pick to Baltimore for Vedvik, who only missed one field goal attempt with the Ravens in last year’s preseason. That’s when the switch seemed to flip for Bailey, and he’s been solid ever since. Vedvik, on the other hand, has struggled since putting on the new purple, missing his first three attempts in a Vikings uniform.

In the preseason Bailey has gone 3/3 on field goals, with his 54 yarder last night the longest, and 6/6 on extra point attempts. Vedvik, on the other hand, has struggled. He ended up hitting only one of four field goal attempts, but he was a perfect 4/4 on extra point attempts.

I don’t see the Vikings cutting Vedvik, though, not after giving up another fifth round pick for a special teams guy. I think what will happen is that the Vikes keep Vedvik as the maybe kickoff specialist and definitely as the punter, and they’ll release Matt Wile. Even though Vedvik had a punt of his returned for a touchdown during the Bills ridiculous comeback, after the game Mike Zimmer said that was a coverage issue, and not Vedvik’s fault.

So with Bailey and Vedvik on the roster, Vedvik becomes their Kicker Of The Future once Bailey’s contract expires at the end of 2019. Kicker Of The Future is very similar to Quarterback Of The Future, except he kicks, is a lot cheaper, but he will cause just as much consternation as a struggling young quarterback would.

I hope we don’t end up getting shot in the face, like poor Marvin.