A New Vikings Kicker Is on the Way

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports.

The Greg Joseph era may be over, and a new Minnesota Vikings kicker is on the way.

A New Vikings Kicker Is on the Way

John Parker Romo became a Viking on Tuesday, an out-of-nowhere transaction that may signal the end for Joseph, who spent three seasons in Minnesota as the team’s kicker.

New Vikings Kicker
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NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted Tuesday, “The Vikings are signing former XFL kicker John Parker Romo, per source. Romo previously spent time with Detroit, New Orleans and Chicago but hasn’t kicked in an NFL game. He won kicking guru Gary Zauner’s competition Saturday with a 64-yard FG and got three offers.”

If Romo makes it to Week 1 as the Vikings kicker, it’ll be on-the-job training. This is the 26-year-0ld’s football resume to date, though he’s never kicked in a regular season NFL game, mentioned by Pelissero:

  • New Orleans Saints (2022)
  • San Antonio Brahmas (2023), XFL
  • Detroit Lions (2023)
  • Chicago Bears (2023)
  • Minnesota Vikings (2024)
Detroit Lions kicker Parker Romo (24) attempts a field goal against the New York Giants during the second half of a preseason game at Ford Field in Detroit on Friday, Aug. 11, 2023. © Junfu Han/Detroit Free Press / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Romo attended three colleges — Central Kansas (2016), Tulsa (2018), and Virginia Tech (2019-2021) — and was a teammate of Christian Darrisaw at Virginia Tech. He was awarded All-XFL Team honors with the Brahmas in 2023 and also finished as that league’s field goal leader.

He has a massive leg, posting videos to social media of himself connecting from 70+ yards out.

Such kicks in practice rarely translate exactly to NFL games, but at the very least, the new specialist should be able to hit comfortably from 50 yards and beyond.

Wacky Justin
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

In the last two seasons, the aforementioned Joseph finished as a bottom-five kicker in the NFL per field goal percentage but always seemed to convert with games on the line. Accordingly, Vikings fans “appreciated what they had” in Joseph, scarred from kickers of yesteryear who let them down in crucial, pressure-cooked moments. But as a matter of improvement, Minnesota should strive to find a kicker who can do it all: hit game-winning kicks, normal ones, and drill extra points consistently.

With any luck, Romo can do just that.

Detroit Lions placekicker John Parker Romo (24) watches practice during OTAs at Detroit Lions headquarters in Allen Park on Thursday, June 1, 2023. © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Romo booted through 17 of 19 field goals in the XFL last year, with a long of 57 yards.

Kyle Joudry of PurplePTSD, a sister site to VikingsTerritory, wrote about Romo on Tuesday, “Parker Romo is 26 and comes in at 5’11”, 188. He began his college career at Tulsa before moving over to Virginia Tech (overlapping with Christian Darrisaw). His final season arrived in 2021. He went 34/34 on his extra points and 18/22 on his field goals. Back in 2019, he even took some reps as a punter, launching 8 punts for 354 yards (44.3 average).”

The Vikings could also draft a kicker in April or sign a UDFA to compete with Romo this summer.

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,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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