One of the main gripes that people had with former Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Preifer was the fact that he seemingly replaced his punter and kicker each season, with worse and worse results. It appears that now that he’s gone the Vikings have finally realized that that approach doesn’t work as they just announced that they’d resigned the kicker that handled the field goal responsibilities for most of last season in Dan Bailey for a reported $1 million (with $2 million more available in incentives). Whether or not that’s because they believed Bailey was their man, or because they simply didn’t have enough cap space left to sign a more expensive option is still yet to be seen but considering their swing and misses at selecting kickers in the draft (Blair Walsh, Daniel Carlson), it’s a good sign that they’re keeping Bailey as you’d think that now that he’s had time to shake the rust off (and to work with his holder, Matt Wile, more) he should be able to return to his pre-2018 form in 2019.
Bailey was one of the most accurate kickers in the history of the league before he came to the Vikings last season. He went from the second most accurate kicker in the history of the NFL to the current third most accurate kicker thanks to a season where he made just 75% of his attempts. Although to be fair, at least two of those misses could be blamed on his holder, punter Matt Wile, who apparently wasn’t the worlds best holder when the Vikings brought him in (something that Preifer jokingly said they realized a bit too late).
The Vikings also announced that they’d re-signed back-up running back (and punt returner) Ameer Abdullah yesterday in a press release and conference call.
That release stated:
“Abdullah returns to Minnesota for his fifth NFL season. The Homewood, Alabama, native was originally drafted by Detroit in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft (54th overall) before being claimed via waivers by the Vikings in Week 10 of the 2018 NFL season.
In 2018 Abdullah served as Minnesota’s primary kick returner for the last seven games of the regular season, finishing with 258 yards on 10 kick returns with a long of 33 yards. Throughout his career, Abdullah has played in 42 career games with 22 starts, notching six rushing and three receiving touchdowns. The Nebraska graduate finished fifth in the NFL and second among rookies in 2015 with 1,857 all-purpose yards (597 rushing, 183 receiving and 1,077 kickoff) in his debut season.”
Abdullah could serve as a replacement for Latavius Murray, who recently signed with the New Orleans Saints. While he’s struggled to acclimate to the NFL, Abdullah was one of the top running backs in the country during his time at Nebraska and could bring some versatility to the back up spot, or help fill in should Dalvin Cook yet again go down with injury as he’s done in both of his first two seasons in the NFL.
If you want to get hyped about Abdullah (or you’re a Mobb Deep fan), check out these highlights from his time in college:
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