A Steady-Eddie Kicker Will Be Available if Vikings Want Him

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports.

A low-key Minnesota Vikings subplot of the 2023 offseason involves the kicker spot, as last year’s specialist, Greg Joseph, is a free agent. Joseph may be re-signed by the Vikings in the next two weeks — or trek elsewhere anywhere in the league.

And if Minnesota doesn’t come to an agreement with the South African kicker, another steady-eddie performer will reportedly be available in free agency — Robbie Gould.

A Steady-Eddie Kicker Will Be Available if Vikings Want Him

ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted Saturday afternoon, “Veteran kicker Robbie Gould said today that, as much as he enjoyed his last six seasons in San Francisco, he will test free agency later this month and be kicking elsewhere in 2023.”

A Steady
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports.

Gould, 40, evidently prefers a change of scenery, an odd development because the 49ers seem “guaranteed to be good” and in the hunt for a Super Bowl every season. A Pro Bowler (2006) and two-time All-Pro (2006, 2017), Gould will be coveted by various teams for his dependability and playoff experience. He’s kicked in 16 playoff games since entering the business in 2005 with the Chicago Bears, New York Giants, and aforementioned 49ers.

Why would the Vikings entertain Gould instead of Joseph? Well, Joseph was a mixed bag in 2022, displaying an uncanny ability to hit game-winning kicks but faltering in “regular” moments with extra points and non-4th-Quarter field goals. The working theory, if the Vikings move on this offseason, is that the club can “do both.”

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports.

This was Joseph’s statline line last year:

Greg Joseph,
NFL Rankings,
in 2022:

Game-Winning Field Goals = 1st
FG Conv % = 28th
Extra Point Conv % = 31st

And Gould’s via the same metrics:

Robbie Gould,
NFL Rankings,
in 2022:

Game-Winning Field Goals = 5th
FG Conv % = 20th
Extra Point Conv % = 9th

And for context, Gould attempted 51 extra points in 2022 and missed just one. Eight other kickers were perfect.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports.

Here’s Gould’s NFL employment resume to date:

  • New England Patriots (2005)
  • Baltimore Ravens (2005)
  • Chicago Bears (2005–2015)
  • New York Giants (2016)
  • San Francisco 49ers (2017–2022)

In 2005, Gould did not play in the regular season for the Patriots or Ravens. He latched onto the Bears and remained for 11 seasons. Vikings fans know the man well because of his success with the Bears.

Gould has connected on 5 of 6 field goals from 50+ yards in the last two seasons. He missed one in 2021, a Week 1 contest at the Detroit Lions. Some kickers lose distance as they tunnel toward age 40, but Gould is still reliable up to about 52 yards. That was his long last year.

Since the start of 2015, the Vikings rank last in the NFL per extra point conversion percentage (88.4%). On the other hand, Minnesota ranks first in the league in game-winning field goals (11). Call it a paradox.

Gould will turn 41 next December.

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 Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.