Packers Start Offseason by Adding Former Viking

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Generally speaking, and more often than not over the last decade, former Green Bay Packers players depart Wisconsin and join the Minnesota Vikings, like Za’Darius Smith and Chandon Sullivan, in 2022.

But Wednesday was a different story, one of role reversal, as former Vikings kicker Jack Podlesny signed on the Packers’ dotted line.

Packers Start Offseason by Adding Former Viking

The Leap’s Jason Hirschhorn tweeted, “The Packers have signed kicker Jack Podlesny. Podlesny signed with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent last offseason and was released on Aug. 17. He was the SEC Special Teams Player of the Year in 2022.”

Packers Start Offseason
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Podlesny enters the Packers’ mix after the club lost last weekend in NFC’s Divisional Round of the postseason and will serve as spring and summer insurance for incumbent kicker Anders Carlson, who missed an important kick versus the San Francisco 49ers.

The Georgia alumnus also tried out for the Packers last September, but no contract materialized.

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Podlesny was a member of the Vikings’ summer roster for about four months during the offseason, intertwining in a mini-kicking competition with current kicker Greg Joseph. He ultimately left the team in August via roster cut, but some believed he could have the juice to steal Joseph’s job.

The aforementioned Carlson, the brother of former Vikings kicker Daniel Carlson, delivered some crucial field goals in 2023, so his blunder against San Francisco on Saturday wasn’t totally defining. We shall see if Podlesny eventually takes over the primary job.

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Georgia placekicker Jack Podlesny (96) watches his field goal fly through the up rights during the first half of a NCAA college football game between Missouri and Georgia in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. Georgia won 43-6. © Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Podlesny led the NCAA in scoring in 2022 with 151 points, so he has the “volume guy” attribute on his resume. He also connected on 83.9% of field goal attempts, the third-best mark in the country. The man is accurate. His leg strength, though, might be a little suspect, and if he doesn’t oust Carlson this summer, Packers fans can attribute the result to it.’s Lance Zierlein summarized Podlesny’s skillset leading up to the 2023 NFL Draft, “Podlesny has kicked in some big games, but he missed two attempts in a narrow victory over Ohio State during last season’s playoff semifinal. He also has a poor success rate on kicks from distance. Consistency and power are key, and Podlesny falls a little short in those areas.”

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In the NCAA, extra points are still automatic from 20 yards away, and the Bulldog had no problems in that area. On his strengths, Podlesny has big-game kicking experience — because that’s what one does at the University of Georgia. He kicked at Georgia for three years, tabulating a 61 for 74 (82.9%) success rate on field goals and hitting 182 of 184 extra points. The suspect part, however, even exceeds the traditional beyond-50-yards metric. Podlesny produced a 54% accuracy on field goals of 40+ yards at Georgia, a stat that could absolutely be a nonstarter in the pros and likely why he didn’t win the Vikings kicking job this summer.

On the Vikings’ side of kicking, Greg Joseph ranked 27th in the NFL this season per field goal kicking accuracy, connecting 80% of the time. Minnesota, too, may be in the market for a new kicker this offseason.

Podlesny will turn 24 in March.

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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