Everyone Is Saying the Same Thing about One New Viking

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

In spirit, the Minnesota Vikings will host a kicker battle this summer.

Everyone Is Saying the Same Thing about One New Viking

But it’s probably just lip service because the new guy — Will Reichard — is blowing away onlookers. Minnesota drafted Reichard in Round 6 two months ago, and since his arrival to the Twin Cities, the synopsis has been all positive.

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The Vikings also employ former XFL kicker Parker Romo, who felt like the kicking solution back in March, but barring something incredibly funky and unforeseen, the job is Reichard’s, not Romo’s.

ESPN’s Kevin Seifert recently wrote about Reichard’s performance at minicamp, “During the team’s final OTA, which was moved indoors because of rain, Reichard nearly hit a balcony that is perched on the wall behind — and above — the goal posts while moving through a progression of 40+ yard attempts. Later, in a full drill with a defense, he drilled a 60-yarder that landed in a net that sits 10 feet behind the goal post and 10 feet off the ground.”

draft pick
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That doesn’t sound like a man on the roster bubble. Reichard should be considered the number-one-with-a-bullet frontrunner to win the kicker job, with anything else otherwise as a total underdog.

Minnesota said goodbye to kicker Greg Joseph this offseason, who promptly signed with the Green Bay Packers. It was time to move on from Joseph, and Minnesota needed a plan for the post-Joseph era when it decided to say sayonara. Undoubtedly, Reichard was one of the options, and the Vikings pounced. They got their guy.

We Left At Halftime
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Seifert also noted on Reichard, “The NFL doesn’t award additional points for kicks that sail well above or beyond the goal posts, and Reichard’s success as a rookie will depend as much on his mental makeup as it does on his leg strength. But he passed all the tests you could reasonably pose a kicker during spring practices.”

Meanwhile, ESPN’s assessment wasn’t standalone. Matthew Coller said on the Purple Insider podcast earlier this month, “Holy hell, in a good way. He just kicks the heck outta the ball. He was kicking 55-yarders that were going at the top of the goalposts. His 60-yard kick cleared everything and still landed in the net that was like five, seven yards behind it.”

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Chat with any Vikings fan for longer than two minutes, and the conversation will devolve into swapping war stories about where each person was when Gary Anderson or Blair Walsh missed a kick. Such malarkey is ingrained deep in Vikings fans’ bones. That’s why finding someone once and for all — hopefully Reichard — is vital.

There are also statistics like this:

Most Missed FGs + XPs,
Last 5 Seasons:

Vikings: 49
Jets: 46
Colts: 45
Patriots: 44
Browns: 43
Cowboys: 43
Commanders: 41
Rams: 41

So, with any luck, fans’ anxiety about kickers, field goals, and extra points can diminish, and the above-listed naughty stats can stabilize.

Per early indications, Reichard will be the guy who gets a chance at the fix.

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.