What will the Vikings do with their kickers when free agency begins?

Both their kicker and punter are due to become free agents.
Author:
Publish date:
Britton Colquitt

The Vikings will have plenty of important decisions in the next week leading up to free agency, but a storyline that has been buried underneath their defensive needs is their desire to keep their special teams unit together.

Minnesota will have three key fixtures of their special teams unit hit the free-agent market in Britton Colquitt, Dan Bailey, and Marcus Sherels, and with a major turnaround in that department in 2019, it would seem likely that the Vikings want all three to return.

Colquitt expected to stay

With the tampering period commencing this weekend, the Vikings have some traction on that priority as the Pioneer Press' Chris Tomasson reports that Colquitt is expected to re-sign with the Vikings. 

As a last-second signing prior to the 2019 season, Colquitt averaged 45.2 yards per punt. An extension with the soon-to-be 35-year-old is rumored to be about $2 to $3 million per season and would stop a trend of four different punters over the past four seasons.

Assessing Dan Bailey's market

While Colquitt would be a key signing, the Vikings also have to have an interest in retaining Bailey. The 32-year-old rebounded off a tough first season in Minnesota by connecting on 27-of-29 field goals (93.1%) and 40-of-44 extra-point attempts (90.9%) last season.

Those numbers look like a gold mine to many teams in the NFL, which saw kickers convert 81.6% of field goals last season – the lowest mark since 2010.

With Mason Crosby already setting the kicking market with a three-year, $12.9 million extension with the Packers, Bailey will be looking to cash in on a free-agent market where his biggest competition will be Los Angeles kicker Greg Zuerlein.

If Bailey is looking for a deal around the $4 to $5 million per season that Crosby received, it may be tough for the cash-strapped Vikings to match that price.

Sherels 50/50 on retirement

The final piece of the Vikings' special teams puzzle is Sherels. The 32-year-old is the franchise's all-time leader in punt return yardage (2,480), but also hits the free-agent market after spending part of last season with the Miami Dolphins.

The Rochester native has been a steady presence on special teams over the past decade and may look to make one last run with a Super Bowl contender, as he did when signing with the New Orleans Saints last season.

The Vikings struggled to find a punt returner for a majority of last season, so if Sherels is up for it, there's a chance the two sides could work out an agreement for an 11th season in Minnesota.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-11-27 at 6.26.50 PM

Minnesota nurse's story about her battle with COVID-19 goes viral

A month later, Ashley Walter is on a hard road to recovery.

Adam Thielen

Report: Still on COVID-19 list, Thielen not expected to play Sunday

Thielen was placed on the COVID-19/Reserve list on Monday.

Image from iOS (19)

Mask-wearing, distancing a common sight on MOA's Black Friday

Thousands of shoppers were out and about on Black Friday despite the COVID-19 situation.

Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz, MDH react to record-setting COVID-19 deaths

Minnesota can expect further bad news over the coming weeks.

covid-19, coronavirus

Record 101 COVID-19 deaths reported in Minnesota

The figures are from Wednesday, with no update provided on Thanksgiving.

Screen Shot 2020-11-27 at 9.29.12 AM

Target reveals its 'Cyber Week' online deals

The sales will run from Nov. 29 to Dec. 5.

Minneapolis police

Mayor Frey, Minneapolis police chief reveal new 'no-knock' policy

The new policy for Minneapolis Police Department was announced Wednesday.

Teddy Bridgewater

Coller: It's a what-if Sunday with Teddy Bridgewater's return

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

Ambulance hospital emergency

15-month-old girl's death being investigated by police in Fargo

The child died four days after being found unresponsive.

Related

Chase McLaughlin

Oh, look: Vikings sign kicker to practice squad

Chase McLaughlin is a name fans probably know soon enough.

Kaare Vedvik

Kaare Vedvik officially inflicted by the curse of Vikings kickers

The curse has been victimizing kickers since 1999.

Kevin McDermott

Just like that, Vikings could have new kicker, punter and long snapper

Minnesota released long snapper Kevin McDermott and traded for a dual-threat kicker.

Dan Bailey

Report: Vikings acquire a kicker from the Ravens

He'll now compete with Dan Bailey for the kicking job.

Mike Zimmer

5 takeaways from the Vikings' first week of free agency

The Vikings went an overhaul in just one week on the open market.

Mike Zimmer

Report: 2 NFC North teams interested in Ravens kicker

Kaare Vedvik made four field goals last week, including a 55-yarder.

Vikings lose Locke, Ellison on the first day of free agency

The Vikings are in the market for a new punter after the first day of free agency.