Say It Ain’t So! A Viking Bolts for Green Bay

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The shoe is on the other foot.

Say It Ain’t So! A Viking Bolts for Green Bay

Usually in a typical offseason, former Green Bay Packers players join the Minnesota Vikings’ roster. Za’Darius Smith, Chandon Sullivan, Dean Lowry, Bashaud Breeland, and Aaron Jones are recent examples. But not this time.

Green Bay
Minnesota Vikings place kicker Greg Joseph (1) kicks a field goal at the beginning of the second quarter against the Titans at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023. © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Former Vikings kicker Greg Joseph will do the unthinkable, latching onto the Packers’ depth chart this week. Joseph’s agent, Brett Tessler, tweeted Tuesday, “The Green Bay Packers are signing my client Greg Joseph who kicked for the Minnesota Vikings the past 3 seasons. Holds the NFL record for game-winners in a season (5), Vikings record for longest FG (61 yds), & led NFL in TB% in ’21. Had other interest but liked this opportunity.”

Green Bay now has three kickers on its roster — all with connections to the Vikings.

Packers Week Hits
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Joseph, obviously, played for Minnesota in the last three seasons, securing the kicker job longer than most amid the last decade of Vikings football. The Packers also employ Anders Carlson, a rookie last year, who is the brother of former Vikings kicker Daniel Carlson. And the other guy, Jack Podlesny, was an undrafted free agent signed by Minnesota in 2023.

Green Bay adores kickers with ties to the Vikings, and it’s a little odd.

We Left At Halftime
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Nevertheless, Joseph earns a clean slate in Green Bay after struggling in back-to-back seasons in purple. Indeed, Joseph racked up five game-winning field goals in 2022 — you read that right: five — a chief component in actionizing the Vikings’ NFL-record-setting 11-0 record in games decided by one score or less that season. Minnesota’s kicker won five football games for the team notoriously snakebitten by kicker-related tomfoolery.

Yet, in back-to-back seasons, 2022 and 2023, Joseph ranked as a bottom-six NFL kicker per overall field goal percentage. The man also struggled with extra points. Vikings fans “appreciated what they had” in Joseph, scarred from kickers of yesteryear who let them down in crucial, pressure-cooked moments. But as a matter of improvement, Minnesota should strive to find a kicker who can do it all: hit game-winning kicks, normal ones, and drill extra points consistently.

That’s why Minnesota signed former XFL kicker Parker Romo two weeks ago, signaling the end of Joseph. Nobody knew, though, that Joseph would end up in Green Bay. A plot twist.

A Green Bay Packers fan enjoys nachos before the start of the football game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, September 10, 2023, at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill. © Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin / USA TODAY NETWORK.

While Joseph’s agent’s tweet sounded wildly optimistic, it remains to be seen if Joseph will win the Packers kicker job later this summer. It’s a crowded house at kicker for the Packers, and teams hardly ever keep more than one kicker on the active regular season roster.

Therefore, at Packers training camp, it could be a Carlson-Joseph-Podlesny trio.

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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