It had been a while since a trade of significant consequence went down in the NFL, so the Minnesota Vikings decided to remedy that by giving up way too much for another team’s backup kicker.
Kaare Vedvik is a Norwegian ex-Marshall player who signed with the Ravens in 2018 as an undrafted free agent. The simple fact that he was originally brought onto a team that employed Justin Tucker meant that the purpose of him being on the roster was an 80-20 split between trade bait, and insurance in case of injury. The only reason a move wasn’t made last year is because he was placed on the team’s reserve/non-football injury list after he was assaulted while out in East Baltimore.
He’s since recovered and after a performance on Thursday night against the Jaguars where he scored all four of his field goal attempts, including one from 55 yards, his value skyrocketed. Teams like the Jets and the Bears were reportedly interested in bringing him on, but ultimately it was the Vikings who beat them to the punch.
Minnesota’s decision to pull the trigger on this is pretty comical, but it’s not just because the Vikings are Drew Magary’s team—though that certainly helps. No, this transaction is funny as hell because a) giving up a fifth-round draft pick for a player who likely wouldn’t have made the Ravens’ 53-man roster is in character of a team so deeply traumatized by poor kicking in the past, and b) the franchise is less than one year removed from getting rid of the kicker they traded up to the fifth round to select.
Daniel Carlson started last season making just one of his four field goal attempts before the Vikings kicked him to the curb and picked up Dan Bailey to replace him. Bailey made 75% of his kicks in 14 games, which was good for 31st in the league last year out of the 35 kickers who qualified to be ranked, and the worst kicking season of his eight-year career so far.
Given the history just in the last year, you can almost understand why Minnesota would be so willing to fork over a pick to any team that offered even the slightest reprieve of their kicking woes. Plus, if Vedvik follows Baltimore’s recent streak of getting rookies in that position, the move will end up becoming more than worth it in hindsight.
If this somehow doesn’t work out, the Vikings might just be better off skipping that position entirely and becoming the team that always goes for it on fourth down.