UPDATE: Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune is reporting that Colquitt will, in fact, be back with the Vikings tomorrow and that his release was a procedural move, much like the Vikings did with Griffen and DePaola.
Britton Colquitt will be back with the Vikings and on the field for practice tomorrow, a source says. This is another procedural move with a vested veteran.— Ben Goessling (@GoesslingStrib) September 1, 2021
Original story follows.
Among the moves that the Minnesota Vikings made on Tuesday prior to hitting the NFL roster deadline was releasing defensive end Everson Griffen and long snapper Andrew DePaola. Today, they brought those two players back while releasing another member of their special teams unit.
The Vikings have announced the re-signings of both Griffen and DePaola, so the team has their long snapper back. However, the team has released the player that pretty much all of DePaola’s snaps were going to in punter Britton Colquitt.
Colquitt was signed by the Vikings in 2019 and had signed a three-year, $9 million extension in 2020. His gross punting average was almost identical in both of his seasons with the Vikings (45.2 in 2019, 45.1 in 2020), but his net average dropped by nearly six yards/punt from 2019 to 2020. He had a 42.6-yard net average in 2019 with no touchbacks, but just 36.7 net yards per punt in 2020 with three touchbacks.
Almost as important, apparently, is the fact that Colquitt served as the holder on field goals and extra points, a fact that was greatly emphasized when the Vikings brought him in before the 2019 season, allowing him to displace Matt Wile. Prior to that, if you’ll remember, the Vikings were experimenting with having all sorts of folks holding for extra points and field goals, but ultimately settled for Colquitt when he was brought in.
No word yet on whether the Vikings are going to change punters entirely or if they’ll try to bring Colquitt back on a less expensive deal. Whatever the case may be, the team should probably figure this out fairly quickly.