I wasn’t all that surprised when the Vikings decided to select a kicker in the 2012 NFL Draft.  I wasn’t surprised that they cut Ryan Longwell.

Most surprising to me, however, was the timing of the move to waive Longwell.  That timing, as General Manager Rick Spielman explains it, was a matter of respect for Longwell.  Spielman wants to give him the best chance possible to find a good fit with another team.

“We felt that Ryan deserved an opportunity to go out and get employment instead of waiting through training camp,” said Spielman.  “Once we made the decision to go with Blair [Walsh], it was the only fair thing to do with Ryan, to give him an opportunity to potentially get hooked on with another team instead of waiting until the end.”

Spielman also indicated that the decision to move on from Longwell was one that was made when he gained full control of the roster.

“I think it all goes back to when we started our whole process of evaluating our roster back in January, when we started our meetings and evaluating everybody on our roster and making those difficult decisions on, like I said, some very good veteran football players,” Spielman said. “It makes it even more difficult because of the type of people they are as well.”

Longwell has always been a class act, at least until he came to his senses and left Green Bay (wink), and I look forward to seeing him kick a game winner or two in 2012… as long as it isn’t against us.

5 COMMENTS

  1. well i hate i hate this move as well as most of spielmans move this offseason…hence my name….i think we have lost a really good veteran and leader…and i hate seeing a proven reliable player..leave for a unproven player especially who had such a low percentage last year…but life goes on

  2. WTF, Longwell should have been released last year. And I said that last year. He can kick past 40 yards anymore. Short kickoffs kille the Vikings. Watch A Broncos game and see what a game changer a kicker can be.

  3. well thats your opinion…he may have lost some distance…but ur gunna be hard pressed to find a more accurate kicker out there….imo…

  4. Longwell is still a good NFL kicker, but releasing him was the correct choice. We are rebuilding and by the time we are ready to compete, Longwell will be too old and will have lost too much. We need to find a kicker for the future and the only way to find out if Blair Walsh is that guy is to let him kick when it actually matters. Good move and also a class one; the early release should give Longwell a shot at another job.

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