Kicker/punter prospect Vedvik among Vikings cuts
By Dave Campbell
AP Pro Football Writer
The Minnesota Vikings have waived kicker/punter prospect Kaare Vedvik, just three weeks after they acquired him in a trade for a fifth-round draft pick.
Vedvik was among the 32 players cut on Saturday by the Vikings to reach the 53-man limit for the regular season, meaning incumbents Dan Bailey and Matt Wile will stay as kicker and punter.
Wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, their first-round draft pick in 2016, was also, unsurprisingly, on the list. Quarterbacks Kyle Sloter and Jake Browning were let go, too, leaving Sean Mannion as the lone backup to Kirk Cousins.
Vedvik missed three of four field goals in exhibition game action and punted five times for an average of 45.2 yards, landing one inside the 20-yard line and watching another get returned for a touchdown. The 25-year-old native of Norway, who arrived in a deal with Baltimore after spending his rookie season on the injured list after kicking and punting in college for Marshall, will be a prime candidate to bring back on the practice squad if he’s not claimed by another team.
The cost, however, of failing to stabilize their specialist roles has continued to rise for the Vikings under general manager Rick Spielman.
They spent a fifth-round draft pick last year on kicker Daniel Carlson, who was dropped after two games and replaced by Bailey. New long snapper Austin Cutting was a seventh-round selection this year. In 2013, punter Jeff Locke was a sixth-round choice who lasted four seasons.
Kicker Blair Walsh, a sixth-rounder in 2012, had a once-promising career infamously waylaid by the missed 27-yard field goal in the playoffs after the 2015 season. Walsh was replaced midway through the 2016 season by Kai Forbath, who fared relatively well but was passed over a year ago for the draftee Carlson.
The Vikings placed three players on reserve lists to meet the 53-player limit, including tight end David Morgan to the physically unable to perform list. They kept four other tight ends for the new offense directed by coordinator Kevin Stefanski and designed by adviser Gary Kubiak, including undrafted rookie Brandon Dillon behind Kyle Rudolph, Irv Smith Jr. and Tyler Conklin.
Rookie Mark Field was acquired for depth at cornerback in a trade with Kansas City for a seventh-round draft pick in 2021, and guard Danny Isidora was dealt to Miami for a seventh-round draft choice in 2020.
The Vikings let two of their 12 picks from their 2019 draft class go, linebacker Cameron Smith (fifth round) and wide receiver Dillon Mitchell (seventh round), two more top options for the practice squad.
Another notable name on the cut list was wide receiver Brandon Zylstra, whose departure along with Treadwell left the Vikings with only four receivers for the time being with stars Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs complemented by Chad Beebe and rookie Olabisi Johnson. Treadwell produced only 56 receptions, 517 yards and one touchdown over three seasons since the Vikings took him 23rd overall out of Mississippi.