Matt Wile

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.

NFC Notes: Eagles, McCoy, Vikings, Cardinals

Following Joe Douglas‘s move to the Jets, Andy Weidl has been leading the Eagles‘ scouting department as the director of player personnel, tweets Geoff Mosher of 97.3 ESPN in Jersey. Weidl previously served as Philly’s assistant director of player personnel.

It’s unclear whether Weidl’s new role is on an interim basis or permanent, but it’s obviously that the executive is prepared to take on a bigger role. Further complicating matters is the fact that Weidl could end up joining Douglas in New York.

Lets check out some more notes from around the NFC…

  • Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy missed his team’s minicamp as he recovered from a leg injury. However, JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington observed that the veteran continued to work with tight end Jordan Reed during the sessions, and the team believes McCoy will be fully ready for training camp. The 32-year-old will be competing with Case Keenum and rookie Dwayne Haskins for a starting gig, and perhaps partly due to McCoy’s injury, the head coach has yet to make a decision on who will be the starter. “For me to make a determination on the starting quarterback after minicamp or mandatory camp is just kind of foolish,” Jay Gruden said. “We’ll let these guys continue to play and see which one continues to improve, which one is most consistent throughout the training camp and preseason and we’ll go from there.”
  • The Vikings have a number of competitions on their hands, according to Chris Tomasson of TwinCities.com. Three-year veteran Kevin McDermott and rookie seventh-rounder Austin Cutting will be going head-to-head for long snapping duties, with only one of the two presumably in line to make the final roster. Meanwhile, the team is expected to host free agent punters Justin Vogel, Shane Tripucka, and “at least one other” on Wednesday. The Vikings are hoping to provide incumbent punter Matt Wile, who struggled as a holder last season, with competition.
  • Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune points to wide receiver as another position battle for the Vikings, as the coaching staff is looking for someone to emerge behind Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. The team has tried out a number of players in their three-receiver package, including Laquon Treadwell, Jordan Taylor, and Chad Beebe. Rookie Olabisi Johnson and former CFL player Brandon Zylstra also have a chance to play a role.
  • Cardinals center A.Q. Shipley missed the entire 2018 season after suffering a torn ACL, allowing rookie Mason Cole to start all 16 games. Now, heading into 2019, both players are vying for that starting spot, and the veteran player isn’t willing to concede to his younger teammate. “Competition? Is there a competition?” Shipley asked Katherine Fitzgerald of the Arizona Republic. “I don’t know, you guys tell me. That’s what you keep saying. I’m going in as I’ve got over 100 games played in the NFL, so if they want to give it to someone else, that’s cool, that’s up to them, but I’m going in as the guy. That’s the way I operate.”

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/5/19

Here are today’s restricted free agent and exclusive-rights free agent tender decisions:

ERFAs

Tendered:

RFAs

Tendered at original-round level:

Non-tendered:

Sunday NFL Transactions: NFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC North teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Bears, Lions, Packers, and Vikings are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s NFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Chicago Bears

Signed:

Cut:

Placed on injured reserve:

Detroit Lions

Claimed:

Cut:

Practice squad:

Green Bay Packers

Practice squad:

Minnesota Vikings

Claimed:

Cut:

Practice squad:

Steelers Cut QB Landry Jones, Others

The Steelers have reached the 53-man roster limit by cutting a number of players, including quarterback Landry Jones.

Jones, 29, hasn’t played much during his six-year NFL career, as he’s attempted just 169 passes in relief of Roethlisberger. In that span, Jones has been a middling option, completing 63.9% of his passes for 1,310 yards, eight touchdowns, and seven interceptions.

The Steelers also placed wide receiver Eli Rogers on the Reserve/PUP List, which will keep him off of the field for at least the first six weeks of the season.

Here’s the full rundown of the Steelers’ moves:

Released:

  • QB Landry Jones
  • S Nat Berhe

Waived:

In addition to those moves, the Steelers designated the following players waived/injured:

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/19/18

Here are the latest reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2018 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters:

Arizona Cardinals

  • LB Praise Martin-Oguike

Oakland Raiders

  • LS Andrew East

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • S Malik Golden
  • LB Darnell Leslie
  • P Matt Wile

Tennessee Titans

  • QB Tyler Ferguson

Washington Redskins

Rams Worked Out 10 Kickers To Replace Greg Zuerlein

The Rams will be without Greg Zuerlein for the rest of the season. Their Pro Bowl kicker, since placed on IR, will undergo back surgery on Thursday, Sean McVay said (via Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com).

Zuerlein has been playing through a back injury all season, and McVay labeled it a herniated disk. The 29-year-old kicker aggravated the injury while sleeping the night before the Rams’ Week 15 game in Seattle. McVay said his kicker could barely stand on Sunday, and it affected his performance and Los Angeles’ game plan against the Seahawks.

Up next for Zuerlein will be a 12-week recovery timetable.

As for the replacement effort, Sam Ficken won quite the derby despite having no NFL kicking experience. A 2015 UDFA out of Penn State, Ficken took part in a 10-man kicker audition on Wednesday.

Veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer reports (on Twitter) the Rams worked out Roberto Aguayo, Dan Carpenter, Travis Coons, Andrew Franks, Garrett Hartley, Marshall Koehn, Younghoe Koo, Mike Meyer and Jason Myers. Two long snappers — Jeff Overbaugh and Drew Farris — and two punters-as-holders (Matt Wile and Austin Rehkow) were also on hand for this unique specialty showcase, per Balzer (on Twitter).

Carpenter and Hartley have extensive NFL experience — a combined 16 seasons’ worth — while Aguayo was selected in the second round only to become a workout journeyman by his second year. He auditioned for the Browns earlier this week and also could not procure the Rams’ kicker job, one that will feature playoff opportunities. Hartley has not kicked in a game since 2014, and Carpenter hasn’t kicked this season.

The Chargers cut Coons earlier this week, but he’s been in Los Angeles for a few weeks now after being the initial Nick Novak replacement for the Bolts. Myers hasn’t kicked since losing his Jaguars job to ex-Charger Josh Lambo, and Franks — a former Dolphin — hasn’t suited up for a 2017 contest either.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/26/17

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Detroit Lions

  • WR Cyril Grayson

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

New York Giants

Washington Redskins

NFL Workout Updates: 9/18/17

Today’s workout update notes:

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Seattle Seahawks

Cardinals Sign P Andy Lee

The Cardinals announced that they have signed punter Andy Lee to a two-year deal. Naturally, punter Matt Wile has been released to make room. Andy Lee

Arizona expressed interest in Lee last week when he was being shopped by the Panthers. The Cardinals were unwilling to take on his old contract and give up draft considerations for him, but they were happy to snag him as a free agent.

The Cardinals’ 14.7 points of lost field position was second only to the Jets last year, per Football Outsiders. The 35-year-old Lee might be able to help in that regard if he can stay healthy. He was limited to nine games last year, but his net average of 40.4 yards per punt would have ranked 14th among all punters if he saw enough action to qualify.

In related moves, the Cardinals placed running back T.J. Logan on IR and added outside linebackers Bryson Albright and Obum Gwacham to the practice squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.