New Vikings Kicker Has a Huge Leg

New Vikings Kicker
Ryan Hunt-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings have been busy early in free agency, filling one roster hole after another. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah started by signing a trio to reinforce the front seven in Brian Flores’ defense. Blake Cashman replaces Jordan Hicks at linebacker while Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel will be the new pass-rushers.

New Vikings Kicker Has a Huge Leg

New Vikings Kicker Has a Monster Leg
Detroit Lions place kicker Parker Romo walks off the field after practice during training camp at Detroit Lions Headquarters and Training Facility in Allen Park on Monday, July 24, 2023.

Monday night, Adofo-Mensah also agreed to terms with quarterback Sam Darnold who is at the top of the depth chart for now. Adding a rookie passer is crucial. Entering Tuesday, the GM still had some spots to fill, especially on the defensive line. Just as important, as folks in Minnesota have had to realize over the years, is the kicker position.

Tom Pelissero announced the newest Viking on Tuesday morning: “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.”

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.

It is a fascinating roster move. John Romo possesses a massive leg but hasn’t had the chance to kick in an NFL game at age 26. Romo attended Central Arkansas, Tulsa, and Virginia Tech during his long collegiate career but went undrafted in 2022.

He then had a stint in training camp with the Saints and joined the XFL franchise San Antonio Bahamas for the 2023 campaign, hitting 17 of 19 field goals, including a (since broken) league-record 57-yarder. Romo was named to the All-XFL team and pursued his NFL career. The Detroit Lions signed him in May 2023 but he was released after training camp on August 29. A six-week stint on Chicago’s practice squad was followed by five months of free agency.

Alec Lewis from The Athletic on X: “Romo went undrafted in 2022 and bounced between practice squads with Bears and Lions. Team targeted him thinking he has massively underrated leg and has FA kicker hole to fill.”

You don’t believe in his strong leg? Well, here he is, drilling a 73-yarder.

Of course, that was just one kick without any pressure and the wind appeared to be helpful. However, his XFL track record and his strong leg are promising and so is the fact that the Vikings had to beat two other teams to acquire his services.

Now with the Vikings, it remains to be seen if he is just competition for an incoming rookie or a veteran or if he is indeed the guy to replace Greg Joseph after three seasons. Joseph didn’t quite light up the stat sheets after ending three straight seasons towards the bottom of the league’s kickers in field goal and extra point percentage.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The veteran hit 82.6% of his field goals and 90.3% of his extra points in three seasons with the Vikings. Last year, the 29-year-old ranked 28th in field goals and 17th in extra points.

The Vikings may just view Romo as kicking competition for a rookie. Spending a day three draft choice in an attempt to fix one of the biggest flaws of the team isn’t a bad idea by any means.

For now, the 26-year-old is the starter on paper.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt