There’s a Verdict on the Vikings Kicker

Interesting State of
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On the same day the Minnesota Vikings welcomed back center Garrett Bradbury and quarterback Nick Mullens, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah also made a special teams move.

Kicker Greg Joseph, who was an unrestricted free agent, will return for a third season after a hot-and-cold year in 2022.

There’s a Verdict on the Vikings Kicker

Joseph’s agent, Brett Tessler, announced the reunion on Twitter, with a little added kudos only an agent can deliver, “Congrats to my client Greg Joseph on his new deal with the Minnesota Vikings! Set the NFL record with 5 game-winning field goals last season including the club record 61-yard game winner against the Giants & 2 NFC special teams player of the week awards.”

Verdict on the Vikings
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Although the precise parameters of the deal were not immediately announced, the agreement reportedly includes a fully-guaranteed amount. That increases the likelihood of Joseph kicking for the Vikings in Week 1 of 2023, perhaps sans a summer battle as the Vikings have embraced in years past.

Barring setback, Joseph will become the first Vikings kicker since Blair Walsh (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) to start three seasons consecutively (2021, 2022, 2023).

Vikings Fans Offer
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The South African was the ultimate sugar-and-spice Vikings commodity in 2022, dependable when it mattered and inconsistent on the whole. He was clutch and created oodles of Minnesota memories from September to January, racking up five game-winning field goals as mentioned by Tessler — you read that right: five — a chief component in actionizing the Vikings NFL-record-setting 11-0 record in games decided by one score or less. Minnesota’s kicker won five football games for the team notoriously snakebitten by kicker-related hijinks.

a new viking hero
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But somehow, Joseph wasn’t very good outside of the fancy clutch kicks. It is hard to believe, but it is true. The man was flawless when it mattered the most but a ginormous question mark when a mundane extra point or field goal was on the agenda — bizarre, indeed.

Joseph ranked as follows in 2022 per critical metrics:

  • Game-Winning Field Goals = 1st
  • FG Conv % = 28th
  • Extra Point Conv % = 31st
How the Vikings Can Beat
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In the end for Joseph’s free agency, the Vikings chose “what they know” with Joseph, evidently banking on his clutch gene + trajectory for improvement in ordinary areas. And, to a degree, Vikings fans should applaud the decision. For 25 years, the mention of kickers is met with a grimace in Vikings social circles, chiefly because finding one who was clutch seemed unsolvable.

Joseph is cold-blooded, in a good way, and that’s apparently good enough for the team’s leadership.

He’ll turn 29 in August.

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