One New Viking Is Already on Borrowed Time

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports.

The 2024 NFL Draft was generally kind to the Minnesota Vikings, enabling the franchise to draft a rookie quarterback in J.J. McCarthy and a new EDGE rusher in Dallas Turner.

One New Viking Is Already on Borrowed Time

But for one man, his career with the Minnesota Vikings might’ve stalled before it ever really started.

New Vikings Kicker
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.

He’s Parker Romo, formerly of the XFL, a kicker signed by the Vikings in March. About eight weeks after his addition to the roster, Minnesota drafted kicker Will Reichard, perhaps placing Romo on borrowed time.

This week, the Vikings’ social media team unveiled a behind-the-scenes draft documentary featuring footage of general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, his staff, and Minnesota’s coaching staff during the draft. Among topics discussed in the 18-minute show, Adofo-Mensah mentioned the importance of getting his kicker, Reichard.

New Vikings Kicker
Ryan Hunt-USA TODAY Sports.

Adofo-Mensah asked his counterparts on Day No. 3 of the draft, “If the kicker and [Michael] Jurgens are there, do you go kicker, assuming Jurgens might be there later? Because the kicker is supposed to be gone by now. It’s more about trying to get both players; who do you have to take sooner? I think the kicker will go sooner than Jurgens. I mean, we have our targets. We do all this work for this. Let’s get our targets that we want.”

His comments didn’t make it sound like getting a kicker was negotiable, likely dampening the would-be forecast for Romo on the active roster later this year. It felt very much like Reichard or bust. Pundits considered Reichard the top kicker in this year’s rookie class, so Romo must propel his underdog story a little further.

The Vikings welcomed Romo to the depth chart in March, and at the time, he felt like the sole solution. However, the Reichard addition totally changed everything on that front. In fact, it might be weird if Reichard doesn’t win the job outright, especially after a wonderfully successful career at Alabama and his status as the first kicker off the board in the draft.

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports.

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.

This is Romo’s football resume to date, though he’s never kicked in a regular season NFL game:

  • New Orleans Saints (2022)
  • San Antonio Brahmas (2023), XFL
  • Detroit Lions (2023)
  • Chicago Bears (2023)
  • Minnesota Vikings (2024)

Minnesota cut ties with Greg Joseph this offseason after three seasons of service, and Joseph promptly signed with the Green Bay Packers, where he’ll vie for the starting job against Anders Carlson and former Viking Jack Podlesny.

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.

Overall, while Romo can still maintain a puncher’s chance at the 2024 kicking job, especially if Reichard struggles this summer, the draft documentary very much proved Adofo-Mensah’s preference for Reichard, almost in a hell-or-high-water sense.

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).

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