The writing was perhaps on the wall with the recent signing of Greg Joseph, but now it’s official. The Vikings have released veteran kicker Dan Bailey, a source told Dianna Russini of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
The move saves Minnesota about $1.7MM in cap space for the 2021 season. Bailey had a $2.7MM salary for this year, and $1.8MM of that was going to become fully guaranteed if he was still on the roster on March 19th, so the clock was ticking. The team wanted to keep him around by re-negotiating his deal, but the two sides couldn’t agree on anything, Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News tweets.
The team likely wanted him to push back the guarantee date or something along those lines. The move wraps up a tumultuous three-year stint for Bailey in Minnesota. He struggled in 2018 but bounced back with a strong 2019, which earned him a new three-year deal last March.
He was abysmal for the most part in 2020, making only 15 of 22 field goals and 37 of 43 extra points. Once one of the top kickers in the league with the Cowboys, Bailey is now 33 as he hits free agency.
He could be brought into a competition, but likely won’t be handed a starting job at this point. Joseph is now the only kicker the Vikings have on the roster, although they’ll presumably add some competition at some point.