Dan Bailey

Vikings To Sign Britton Colquitt, Cut Matt Wile

More Vikings special teams maneuvering. They are signing veteran punter Britton Colquitt and cutting incumbent Matt Wile, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Wile and Dan Bailey survived Minnesota’s initial cuts, despite dual-threat punter Kaare Vedvik‘s arrival, but Wile will lose his roster spot to the more experienced Colquitt. Colquitt had been with the Browns, but he lost out to undrafted rookie Jamie Gillan, aka “The Scottish Hammer.” Minnesota traded a fifth-round pick for Vedvik a couple weeks ago, but ended up cutting him after he struggled in the preseason.

A Michigan product, Wile entered the league as an undrafted free agent back in 2015. Four games split between the Cardinals and Falcons in 2016 had been his only regular season action, until he won the Vikings’ job last year. He punted in all 16 games for Minnesota in 2018, but clearly didn’t make that strong of an impression. Colquitt has plenty of experience, having served as the Broncos’ punter for six years and winning Super Bowl 50 with them. He’s spent each of the past three years with Cleveland.

Vikings To Cut Kaare Vedvik

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Kaare Vedvik’s shaky preseason work with the Vikings will lead to his new team cutting him. The Vikings traded a fifth-round pick for the promising Ravens kicker, but after these recent struggles, Minnesota will keep Dan Bailey as its field goal specialist, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

Following his trade from Baltimore, Vedvik made 1 of 4 field goal tries with Minnesota. This came after he went 4-for-4 in his Ravens finale. Vedvik retains practice squad eligibility, should he pass through waivers. But this could represent another squandered fifth-round pick on a kicker.

The Vikings drafted Daniel Carlson in the 2018 fifth round but waived him after two games last season. Vedvik did not make it that far. Matt Wile will remain the Vikings’ punter, with Bailey — Carlson’s replacement last season — staying on as the kicker.

NFC Notes: Falcons, Vikings, Crabtree

The Falcons had one of the most stable kicking situations in the league until this year. Matt Bryant had been the team’s kicker for the past ten seasons before they finally decided to move on and cut him back in February. The team had Giorgio Tavecchio all set to replace him, but Tavecchio has faltered during the preseason. In response, Atlanta went out and signed Blair Walsh to provide some competition for him. Now we’ve learned Walsh wasn’t the only kicker they kicked the tires on.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn said the team discussed bringing Bryant back before ultimately going with Walsh, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link). In a separate tweet, Ledbetter notes that Quinn said it will be an open competition now between Tavecchio and Walsh. Bryant has kicked in the league since 2002, but the 44-year-old has been unable to find a new gig. He made the Pro Bowl in 2016 and was usually a reliable option, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Falcons reach back out midseason if whoever they roll with to start the year slips up.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • Speaking of kicking controversies, it sounds like the Vikings might have one on their hands. Minnesota traded a fifth-round pick to the Ravens for Kaare Vedvik, seemingly putting the issue to rest. Vedvik then missed his first two field goal attempts as a Viking in their most recent preseason game, prompting head coach Mike Zimmer to say he has a “high” level of concern about the position, per Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com. “I honestly don’t know” what the team will do now, Zimmer said. “Since we brought Vedvik in, Wile has been punting good and Bailey has been kicking good, and then Vedvik goes out there and misses field goals. I don’t know. I’m at a loss on that.” Vedvik was initially expected to handle both punting and kicking duties, and now it sounds like he might not even make the team. Dan Bailey seemed like he was soon to be out of a job last week, but he’s been given new life now. This will be a situation to monitor during the team’s fourth and final preseason game.
  • The Cardinals signed receiver Michael Crabtree a few days ago, and now we have the details on his contract. Crabtree got a one-year deal worth $3.25MM that can be upped to $5.5MM if he hits incentives, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Crabtree originally visited with the Cards weeks ago, but a potential deal was called off over a disagreement about compensation. Arizona reportedly offered him a one-year, $2.5MM deal the first time around, so they upped their offer by $750K in base value.
  • In case you missed it, Lions starting linebacker Jarrad Davis will miss some regular season time with a high ankle sprain.

NFC Notes: Falcons, Garoppolo, 49ers, Vikings

Falcons first-round offensive lineman Kaleb McGary is set to resume on-field activities after undergoing a cardiac ablation procedure at the beginning of the preseason. After the lineman missed his team’s first three preseason games, coach Dan Quinn made it clear that they’ll bring the rookie along slowly.

“The first part is, like today, participating in the walkthrough,” Quinn told Will McFadden of the team’s website. “And then he’ll get a good bit of the field work with Marty [Lauzon] and the athletic performance staff. And then once that’s good, we’ll be out a couple of weeks, make sure the conditioning is right. And then back into individual [drills], and then you get back into team [drills]. So we really stay strict to the policy we put into place for the guys to return to it. We just don’t back off of it, especially if you’ve been out for, in his case, two weeks.

“It’s a good sign that he had such a good report. But, like all players, we’re going to do the right thing and make sure nothing comes up.”

McFadden notes that the rookie was working with the second team during the early parts of preseason, but he was expected to emerge as the Falcons’ starting right tackle.

Some more notes from around the NFC:

  • Jimmy Garoppolo is coming off a torn ACL that shelved him for the 2018 campaign, but the 49ers organization is optimistic about his return. “I think what’s important, all the time, is you look at the totality of a camp and I think he’s had a really good camp, I really do,” general manager John Lynch said, via Jennifer Lee Chan of NBCSportsBayArea.com. “I think the best thing for all of us is that is, I get hesitant and reluctant to say it, but is his recovery from his knee has been flawless.” The quarterback struggled during his preseason debut this evening, completing one of his six passes and tossing an interception.
  • 49ers tight end Garrett Celek is currently on the PUP, and Matt Maiocco of NBCSportsBayArea.com writes that the 31-year-old will be sidelined “well into the regular season” as he recovers from back surgery. Celek appeared in 15 games last season, hauling in five receptions for 90 yards and two touchdowns.
  • Vikings coach Mike Zimmer explained some of his logic as he settles on a 53-man roster. “I don’t know that we’re real deep in the secondary,” Zimmer said (via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Twitter). “So that might lend itself (to an extra LB). May keep an extra defensive lineman, less in the secondary and maybe keep one less running back. It all will work out.” When it comes to special teams, Tomasson believes the organization will ultimately opt for kicker Dan Bailey and punter Kaare Vedvik.

Latest On Vikings’ Kicking Situation

There is still not much clarity on the Vikings’ kicking situation, as Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune observes. Minnesota, of course, traded a fifth-round pick for Kaare Vedvik on Sunday, which suggests that he is a near lock to make the team. However, kicker Dan Bailey and punter Matt Wile remain on the roster, and head coach Mike Zimmer hasn’t tipped his hand just yet.

As was reported when the Vikings acquired Vedvik, the team could deploy him as both a punter and kicker. Zimmer said, via Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com“[y]eah, if he’s good enough, I wouldn’t have a problem with that. But I don’t know. Again, I think everything is a possibility at this point.”

All three players are expected to see action in Minnesota’s second preseason contest on Sunday. Bailey has responded well to the increased pressure from Vedvik, as he nailed all seven of his attempts in Tuesday’s practice, including a 54-yarder. That was the first time he had been perfect in drills since training camp opened.

Wile, the team’s ordinary holder, cannot serve in that capacity for the time being, as he sliced his left thumb during last week’s preseason opener. But Goessling suggests that Wile’s progress as a holder could ultimately determine whether he makes the 53-man roster.

Again, it seems unlikely that Vedvik will be cut, but Bailey’s and Wile’s fates are still very much up in the air.

Vikings To Acquire K Kaare Vedvik From Ravens

The Kaare Vedvik sweepstakes will end with the Ravens sending their backup kicker to the Vikings, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). Minnesota will send a 2020 fifth-round pick to Baltimore.

Not previously mentioned as a destination for the suddenly in-demand specialist, the Vikings outflanked a rival that almost certainly was in that mix. The Bears, who have featured one of the more public kicker needs in modern NFL history, were reported to be in the hunt for Vedvik. So were the Jets and two other teams. Instead, Vedvik will wear a slightly different shade of purple soon.

Interestingly, Schefter adds Vedvik could be used as Minnesota’s kicker and punter. Dan Bailey and Matt Wile serve as the Vikings’ incumbents at those roles. It would be obviously unique for a team to use a specialist for both roles in this era. When asked about the trade report Sunday, Mike Zimmer said, “I really like Dan Bailey,” Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets.

The Ravens have stashed Vedvik, a 2018 UDFA, for two offseasons and kept him on IR last season in hopes of a future trade. The mid-Day 3 return represents good value for a kicker without any NFL game experience. He did, however, connect on each of his four field goal tries in the Ravens’ preseason opener. This included a 55-yarder.

For the most part, Vedvik only saw action for two seasons at Marshall. He did serve as the Thundering Herd’s kicker and punter in his 2017 senior season, however. The Norwegian-born specialist also began as a punter before seeing action as a kicker. Vedvik was Marshall’s punter for two seasons and made 10 of 16 field goals for the Conference USA program as a senior.

For the Vikings, this represents another fifth-round draft choice used on a kicker. They drafted Daniel Carlson in Round 5 in 2018 but cut him after a woeful performance against the Packers in a Week 2 tie. Bailey became the Vikings’ kicker soon after. The longtime Cowboy made 21 of 28 field goal tries as a Viking, also hitting 30 of 31 PATs. A fourth-year punter, Wile averaged 45.2 yards per boot (14th in the NFL) last season in Minnesota.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Ingram, Suggs, Kendricks

Here are the latest details from some agreed-upon contracts during the second wave of free agency. All links courtesy of the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, unless otherwise noted.

Vikings Re-Sign Dan Bailey

The Vikings re-signed kicker Dan Bailey to a one-year, $1MM deal, a source tells Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). The deal can max out at $2MM with incentives, but his $250K signing bonus represents his only guarantee.

The Vikings began the 2018 season with rookie Daniel Carlson as their kicker, but the fifth-round pick was cut after he missed three kicks in Week 2. After that, Bailey took over and held the job for the remainder of the season. Results were mixed: Bailey made 21-of-28 field goal tries, giving him a 75% conversion rate. For what it’s worth, he did nail 30-of-31 on extra points.

Despite the recent hiccups, Bailey is the fifth-most accurate kicker in NFL history with a career 86.6% conversion rate. Before joining the Vikings, Bailey was actually second on the all-time chart after making more than 88% of his tries.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC North Notes: Rodgers, Vikings, Lions

The Vikings were not the first team that sought Dan Bailey‘s services this season. Although he’s in Minnesota now, other franchises wanted to sign the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history. Bailey agreed to terms with the Vikings on a one-year, $2MM deal, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). However, the 30-year-old specialist also turned down offers worth double that on multiyear deals, Rapoport adds. The Jets brought in Bailey to work out just after the Cowboys cut him, but nothing came to fruition. Gang Green may have been one of the teams that presented a better offer, but that’s not known. Nevertheless, Bailey will replace Daniel Carlson, whom Mike Zimmer said it was not difficult to cut after his performance in Minnesota’s Week 2 tie in Green Bay.

Here’s the latest out of the NFC North:

  • Aaron Rodgers did not exit the Packers‘ Week 2 game with any new discomfort on his injured left knee, Mike McCarthy said (via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com). Rodgers is “obviously sore,” and McCarthy does not have a read on whether his quarterback’s condition is better or worse than at this point last week. But it’s encouraging for the Packers that Rodgers didn’t sustain any additional damage while clearly playing hurt.
  • Carlson’s cut will save the Vikings $200K, though the Bailey addition will negate those savings. Only Carlson’s signing bonus ($248K), plus his base salary through two games, will count against Minnesota’s cap, per Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (on Twitter). The Vikings are up against the cap but managed to add Bailey, Aldrick Robinson and Tom Johnson in the past two days.
  • Robinson will only make the league minimum, and no guarantees exist in the soon-to-be 30-year-old wide receiver’s Vikings pact, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets. The former Redskins, Falcons and 49ers pass-catcher now comprises part of the Vikes’ receiving corps. Minnesota currently has five receivers on its roster, the same amount it did prior to the Robinson signing. Stacy Coley, a 2017 seventh-rounder, was cut to make room.
  • On a busy day for workouts, the Lions brought in two veteran edge rushers who would slot in as defensive ends in their 4-3 scheme. John Simon and David Bass trekked to Detroit for Tuesday workouts, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM reports (on Twitter). A recent Colts cut, Simon already met with the 49ers and Jets since being released. A six-year veteran, Bass led Jets edge rushers in sacks last season with 3.5. Former Packers fullback Aaron Ripkowski also worked out for the Lions today, NFL reporter Howard Balzer tweets. Also among the workout contingent: linebacker Tyrone Holmes, fullbacks Jalston Fowler and Jay Prosch, and tight end Donnie Ernsberger, per Balzer. Wide receiver Keon Hatcher visited with the Lions.
  • Former Jets wideout Chad Hansen was among those who auditioned for the Packers today, with Balzer tweeting Shay Fields, Korey Robertson, Taj Williams and quarterback Brogan Roback — of Hard Knocks fame — joined him.

Vikings To Waive Daniel Carlson, Sign Dan Bailey

Zane Gonzalez isn’t the only young kicker whose rough Week 2 will cause a relocation. The Vikings are cutting ties with fifth-round rookie Daniel Carlson, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

In Carlson’s place, the Vikings will go with experience by signing Dan Bailey, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Bailey figured to draw interest from multiple teams after kicking issues impacted multiple games on Sunday, and he’ll join up with a Super Bowl contender.

While interest came Bailey’s way, it appears he was willing to wait for the right opportunity. Four teams offered Bailey a contract, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). A dome team coming off an NFC championship cameo piqued his interest.

The second-most accurate kicker in NFL history, Bailey did not make the Cowboys’ active roster. Salary concerns helped lead him out of Dallas. He’ll be in Minneapolis in time for Week 3 and can be expected to provide more consistency than Carlson gave the veteran-laden Vikings roster.

That said, the Vikings are cutting the cord on a young kicker quite early. Minnesota drafted Carlson to lead to a Kai Forbath cut. The Vikings had just re-signed Forbath this offseason but jettisoned him for Carlson this summer. Carlson will be an interesting waiver item for a team keen on seeing if the coveted Auburn prospect can quickly rebound.

Carlson missed three field goals in Minnesota’s 29-29 tie in Green Bay, the last of which coming from just 35 yards out. Two misses occurred in overtime.

The 30-year-old Bailey made the 2015 Pro Bowl and has 27 career 50-plus-yard field goal makes. Missing four games due to injury last season, Bailey made 15 of 20 attempts and 26 of 28 PATs. He’s made 88.2 percent of his career field goal tries (second only to Justin Tucker‘s 90.3 percent) and closed three seasons — 2012, ’13 and ’15 — with a 90 percent-plus conversion rate.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.