Recently Exiled Viking Joins Packers
The Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers have brushed up against each other a few times this offseason, and the trend continued on Monday as kicker Gabe Brkic signed with the green and gold team.
Brkic joined the Vikings on May 5th, stayed with the franchise through last week’s mandatory minicamp, and was released by Minnesota on Friday. Three days later, the Vikings primary foe claimed the young kicker.
Leading up to the 2022 NFL Draft, Brkic was often considered the third-best kicker in the class behind Cameron Dicker (Rams) and Cade York (Browns). And when the Vikings signed the former Oklahoma Sooner, a kicker competition was on the docket for summer.
The battle with incumbent Greg Joseph didn’t last long as Brkic underwhelmed at last week’s minicamp. The Vikings leadership saw enough, released Brkic, and seemingly committed to Joseph for the 2022 campaign.
On the Packers side of operations, Brkic will evidently compete with Mason Crosby, who’s served as the organization’s kicker for 15 years. But Crosby only connected on 73.5% of field goals in 2021, a mark that scraped the bottom of the NFL for accuracy. Dominik Eberle, mentioned above by Field Yates, could not knock off Crosby for the job, but perhaps Brkic can — is the theory, anyway.
Brkic was a Lou Groza Award finalist at Oklahoma, an award granted to the NCAA’s top kicker. He connected on 82.6 % of his field goals for the Sooners, even drilling five out of seven from 50+ yards. To date, his career-long is 56 yards. The new Packer was also a reliable converter of extra points. He converted 159 of 160 extra points at Oklahoma (extra points in college are snapped from the three-yardline).
Predictably on Monday, some Vikings fans theorized Brkic will now become the next big thing — just like Daniel Carlson, who was released by Minnesota in 2018 but went on to absolutely thrive for the Raiders.
Brkic still has to outlast Crosby, 37, for the job, though, to follow a Carlson-like trajectory.
If Brkic does become the Packers kicker, he’ll face the purple team in Week 1 at U.S. Bank Stadium, his former place of employment, albeit for one month.
In this offseason alone, former Packers Za’Darius Smith and Chandon Sullivan signed with the Vikings. Then in April, Minnesota and Green Bay did business in the 2nd Round of the NFL Draft, which led to Christian Watson joining the Packers. And now a kicker has played hopscotch between the two franchises.
Brkic was teammates with Kyler Murray, Jalen Hurts, CeeDee Lamb, Marquise Brown, and new Vikings linebacker Brian Asamoah at Oklahoma.
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).