Earlier this month, the Vikings made a desperate move by trading a 2020 fifth-round draft pick for kicker/punter Karee Vedvik from the Baltimore Ravens.
Although Vedvik missed all of 2018 after being assaulted before the start of the season, he is known for a big leg and has potential to finally be the guy to solve Minnesota's long-standing kicker issues.
The initial thoughts were that fellow Vikings kicker Dan Bailey would be on his way out. However, as we head into the final preseason game, it seems now that Vedvik will be auditioning for a job in the final preseason game.
How'd we get here?
In Minnesota's second preseason game against Seattle, Vedvik handled kickoffs, punts and attempted one extra point. Meanwhile, Bailey hit his first field-goal attempt and nailed an extra point.
Fast forward a week later in the Vikings' third preseason game, and Vedvik didn't do any punting but was given three field-goal attempts, shaking his attempts from 43 and 54 yards, respectively. After the game, Mike Zimmer said he was concerned with the recent acquisition.
ESPN's Courtney Cronin notes that Vedvik made just 5-of-9 field-goal attempts at Tuesday's practice.
Zimmer wasn't alone in his thinking, as special teams coordinator Marwan Maalouf followed suit Tuesday saying Vedvik's performance was unacceptable.
So now, Vedvik will be sharing duties with Bailey in Thursday's preseason finale at Buffalo, and whoever performs worse could be cut, it appears. Either that or everything is already set in stone, with Bailey handling field goals and Vedvik punting and getting the kickoff job.
That would mean Matt Wile, last year's punter, would be out.
Wile has had a finger injury that prevented him from seeing full-time action before last week's game against Arizona, and he did a solid job as Vikings punter last year.
So could they cut him?
Just judging by what's transpired and how this team has handled its kickers over the last few seasons, yes, it's totally plausible they'll cut him.
The issue is, the Vikings traded a fifth-round pick and even though that's a lower-value selection, you don't just throw them away either.
Also, the Vikings are basing these decisions off of just two weeks of seeing Vedvik and that isn't the right way to go about it. Imagine if the Twins just cut bait immediately on Byron Buxton after his first call up in 2015? Minnesota needs to give Vedvik a longer leash.
Even last year when the Vikings cut Daniel Carlson after his horrendous performance against the Packers – missing four kicks – he ended up signing with the Oakland Raiders and made 16-of-17 field-goal attempts.
Funny enough, that's exactly what the Vikings need right now.
Obviously, unlike baseball, patience is not a virtue in the NFL and teams have a small window to make mistakes before management pulls the plug.
On top of it all is a Blair Walsh storyline, as he's settling in with the Atlanta Falcons, who just so happen to be Minnesota's season-opening opponent. Just like old times, Walsh is having a brutal go of it at practice so far in Atlanta.