Decision Made on Vikings 2022 Kicker
While onlookers of the Minnesota Vikings hone in on the upcoming NFL Draft, the team is tending to other business matters, too.
On Monday, kicker Greg Joseph signed on the dotted line, making him the strong frontrunner for the job in 2022.
Joseph provides stability for the Vikings at kicker, which is noteworthy for a franchise notoriously snakebitten by field-goal kicking woes.
Minnesota signed Joseph last offseason after Dan Bailey, Joseph’s predecessor, encountered the figurative snake bites in 2020. Early on, Joseph suffered familiar Vikings kicking trauma, notably missing a game-winning, chip-shot field goal versus the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2.
But the South African kicker didn’t allow the miss to define him or ruin him during his 2021 campaign. Conversely, Joseph responded valiantly, later drilling a couple of game-winning kicks thereafter.
Joseph was also terrific from distance. In 2021, he connected on seven of nine field goals at or beyond 50 yards, a statistic exactly emulating Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker, who is considered one of the league’s best.
As the season wore on, Joseph became more dependable — enough for a new general manager, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, to sign Joseph for a sequel.
Per his agent, Joseph led the NFL in touchback percentage and was sixth in total field goals made. Of all kickers attempting 25+ field goals last season, Joseph ranked 13th, converting 86.8% of kicks. And by Vikings kicker standards, this can be classified as cause for celebration.
Joseph also hit 36 of 40 extra points. That mark isn’t glorious, but it was somehow an improvement for Minnesota during the Mike Zimmer era. Before the 2021 season began, the Vikings were beset by ghastly stats like these:
Joseph should be observed as the sure-fire frontrunner to remain the Vikings incumbent kicker this fall. He did enough — especially in a redemptive manner — to command a second act. However, new Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is unpredictable in the sense he has no documented track record as “the guy in charge.” In theory. Adofo-Mensah could draft a rookie kicker or sign one on the undrafted market to compete with Joseph.
The deal is a one-year $2.433 million tender.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).