One Vikings Roster Battle May Already Be Over

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The Minnesota Vikings signed XFL kicker Parker Romo on March 12th, a move that seemed like the club’s kicking solution at the time.

One Vikings Roster Battle May Already Be Over

Incumbent kicker Greg Joseph did the unthinkable by joining the Green Bay Packers, so the purple team needed a new one. And for about six weeks, Romo was on tap for the assignment.

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Then the 2024 NFL Draft occurred, and the Vikings were the first franchise to select a kicker during the event, landing Alabama’s Will Reichard from Round 6. The choice totally dampened Romo’s trajectory for earning the kicking job, and about two months later, Romo could be a total footnote to the would-be kicker roster battle.

Matthew Coller said on the Purple Insider podcast last week about Reichard, “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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And 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.

What’s more, the Vikings’ social media team unveiled a behind-the-scenes draft documentary last month 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.

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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 gutting the 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.

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The aforementioned Lewis also wrote about Reichard this week while commenting on each Vikings player after minicamp, “Will Reichard: The kicker equivalent of a scratch golfer. When he mis-hits, you are surprised. Was everything the Vikings hoped he’d be this spring — and then some.”

Lewis further stated that Romo isn’t as consistent as Reichard.

So, with training camp about five weeks away, the kicker battle may already have a fork in it.

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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