Vikings acquire kicker Kaare Vedvik from Ravens
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — Looking for solutions for their longtime kicking issues, the Minnesota Vikings traded for Kaare Vedvik from the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
Vedvik has kicked and punted for Baltimore, which was set at the position with standouts Justin Tucker and Sam Koch. The Ravens announced the trade via Twitter with an undisclosed draft pick as the compensation in the deal for Baltimore.
The Ravens had hoped to trade Vedvik because of their consistency at each of the specialist positions, and the former Marshall University kicker and punter demonstrated his ability in Baltimore’s first preseason game on Thursday.
He was 4 for 4 on field goals, hitting one from 55 yards. He converted two extra-point attempts and punted twice for a 55.5-yard average.
The trade was announced just minutes before Vikings coach Mike Zimmer spoke to reporters on Sunday and he wouldn’t acknowledge the trade.
“If we indeed made a trade, it’s to try to get better guys, wherever we do that,” Zimmer said.
Minnesota has veteran kicker Dan Bailey, who missed seven field-goal attempts last season with a career-worst 75 percent conversation rate, and punter Matt Wile in training camp. The team also has a competition at long snapper between holdover Kevin McDermott and seventh-round draft pick Austin Cutting, creating inconsistency in the field-goal unit.
“Honestly, I really like Dan Bailey,” Zimmer said. “I think he’s a very professional, mature kid. We’ve been having some issues with the three; the snap, hold, kick kind of thing. And having two long snappers, I think that’s added to it a little bit because the timing is different. The holding we’re working on quite a bit. I like Dan.”
Zimmer has tried different holders in the field-goal operation after Wile handled the job last year. Wile was tied for ninth in the league last season with a 41.5-yard net punting average.
Bailey connected on all four of his extra-point attempts in the first preseason game and didn’t have a field-goal try. Wile punted twice for a 42.5-yard average.
“The first punt was inside the 20, but not by much,” Zimmer said. “I think he should have got it closer to the end zone on that one. I think he’s been better this camp. Directionally, he still needs to work on going to his left. But I think he’s done better this camp.”
A native of Norway, Vedvik spent the entire 2018 season on the non-football injury list for Baltimore after he was assaulted in East Baltimore a day before the final cuts last year, suffering serious head and facial injuries in the attack that left him hospitalized.
“A lot more emotional than I thought it was going to be,” Vedvik told the team’s website about Thursday’s game. “A lot of anticipation. It’s been a long year building up to come back to this moment again. I love football. I love sports. Getting back on the field, it’s a different feeling.”
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