Lions Acquire Former Vikings Kicker
NFL rosters are slowly coming together. The post-draft moves are always interesting because teams fix holes they couldn’t fix in the draft. Minnesota traded away edge rusher Za’Darius Smith and waived Kenny Willekes. In return, they signed wideout Lucky Jackson to the organization. Other teams are also trying to improve their roster for the upcoming season.
Lions Acquire Former Vikings Kicker
The Minnesota Vikings have historically been snakebitten by the kicking part of football. Blair Walsh and Gary Anderson gave the Vikes two of the most devastating postseason losses in recent history. Something about the organization is cursed, but it can’t be the color purple. Ravens kicker Justin Tucker is proving that year in and year out in a purple jersey, and he is a future Hall of Famer.
The Vikings had a decent kicker, at least for two games, after they drafted Daniel Carlson in the fifth round in 2018, but once he entered the building, he stopped to hit kicks. Carlson was cut after two games with the franchise. He signed with the Raiders and is now on his own Hall of Fame path as an extremely reliable kicker.
In 2021, the Vikings employed a kicker named Riley Patterson in the preseason, but he was waived with an injury settlement in August. Greg Joseph won the kicking job in Minnesota. Patterson bounced around in New England and joined the Lions and Jaguars.
The Jacksonville Jaguars picked up veteran kicker Brandon McManus who the Broncos released and subsequently wanted to waive Patterson. It had already been reported, but that never happened. Instead, Detroit sent a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2026 to the Jaguars to reunite with Patterson.
He was with the Lions in 2021 and hit 13 of 14 field goals and all 16 extra points. One of the games was against the Vikings, where he hit all five of his kicks. Patterson, who hit the game-winning field goal for the Jaguars to beat the Chargers in the postseason, will meet the Vikings two times in the upcoming season and match up with Greg Joseph, who the Vikes picked over him.
Joseph has been a mixed bag in his two seasons in Minnesota. In only his second game with the team, Joseph missed a game-winning field goal attempt from only 37 yards out in a loss to the Cardinals. However, Joseph totally redeemed himself with seven successful game-winning kicks after that, an outstanding number.
Joseph hit the game-winning field goal against the Giants on Christmas Eve from 61 yards, the longest kick in franchise history by five yards. He has been absolutely fantastic in those late-game situations.
The number of extra points he misses, meanwhile, is concerning, as he missed 6 of his 46 attempts. Only Cairo Santos and Joey Slye had more trouble with the short kick last season. Special teams coach Matt Daniels certainly hopes for an improvement in that area.
Joseph signed a one-year contract worth $2 million after his last deal expired. The Vikings re-signed their free agent. He could be cut after training camp, but the team would have to eat a $1.7 million dead cap hit and only save $300,000.
He will face Jack Podlesny in training camp, an undrafted rookie out of Georgia who played a lot of football in the bright lights. Podlesny hit 182 of 184 career extra points and 61 of 74 field goals. He led the nation in points last season with 151 and was fifth in 2021. The kicker led the SEC in points in each of the last two seasons and signed a deal for $15,000 guaranteed.
The Vikings could’ve made a deal for McManus or Patterson, but the regime seems to trust Joseph and his late-game heroics. Unless Podlesny can beat out Joseph, the two kickers will meet in Weeks 16 and 18.
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Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt
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