Polarizing Vikings Record-Holder Signs With Packers - Sport News

Polarizing Vikings Record-Holder Signs With Packers

Minnesota Vikings kicker Greg Joseph crossed the border, signing with the Green Bay Packers on Tuesday, March 26, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported.

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“It’s a 1-year deal worth up to $1.3 million,” Rapoport wrote on X (formerly Twitter) in response to Joseph’s agent, Brett Tessler, announcing the signing. The Vikings agreed to terms with XFL kicker John Parker Romo on March 12, which signaled at least a camp battle, but the job appears to be Romo’s with Joseph’s departure.

Joseph landed with the Vikings during the 2021 offseason after veteran kicker Dan Bailey struggled late in the 2020 season, leading to his release before training camp.

Joseph holds the league record for five game-winning kicks in a single season and converted the longest field goal in Vikings history — a 61-yarder that clinched the Vikings a 27-24 victory over the New York Giants in 2022.

But beyond Joseph’s heroic moments was inconsistency from the Vikings kicker that led to a polarizing image of Joseph among fans.

He led the league with 30 missed kicks since 2021 — missing 18 field goals and 12 extra points as a Viking. Joseph’s conversion rate on field goals (82.2%) and extra points (90.3%) rank 36th and 31st, respectively, among kickers who played at least 17 games in the past three seasons.

New Vikings K John Parker Romo Hits 73-yard FG

John Parker Romo

A Georgia native, Romo spent six years floating through the college ranks. He finished his sixth collegiate season at Virginia Tech, converting all 34 of his extra point attempts and 18-of-22 field goals — including seven of nine from at least 40 yards — for the Hokies.

Romo went undrafted in 2022 and spent time with the New Orleans Saints before being cut. He spent the 2023 season with the XFL San Antonio Brahmas, earning All-XFL honors after converting 17-of-19 field-goal attempts and connecting from 57 yards out — the longest field goal in XFL history.

Romo got another chance at the NFL, joining the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears during the 2023 season but has yet to make a regular-season appearance.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported at the time Romo signed with the Vikings that “he won kicking guru Gary Zauner’s competition with a 64-yard FG” and left with three offers before free agency opened.

That 64-yarder isn’t even Romo’s max range. He posted a video on X of him clearing the field goal post from 73 yards out with a wind outside.

New Kickoff Rule Should Benefit Vikings Return Man Kene Nwangwu

49ers

Last season was a quiet year for Vikings kick returner Kene Nwangwu.

Nwanwgu, whose three kickoff return touchdowns from 2021 to 2022 were the most by any player in the league, brought back a career-low 15 returns in 2023 after the league approved a rule to allow returners to call for a fair catch that would place the ball on their team’s 25-yard line.

After a long-term trend of fewer returns in the NFL, which has coincided with fewer concussions, the NFL made a dramatic rule change for the 2024 season that will revolutionize the NFL kickoff.

ESPN’s Kevin Seifert reported the league owners voted 29-3 in approval of a new kickoff rule that will emulate the XFL kickoff rules.

Under the new rule, the kicking team and at least nine players on the receiving team will line up just five years apart in the receiving team’s territory and cannot begin running until the ball is caught by the returner.

The kicker will kick the ball from his own 35-yard line and must land the ball between the 20-yard line and the goal line. A kick that either goes out of bounds or lands short of the 20 will be awarded to the receiving team at the 40-yard line. A kick that goes into the end zone for a touchback will go out to the receiving team’s 30-yard line.

This should greatly increase the amount of returns in the NFL, which should give Nwanwgu more opportunities as well.

Here’s an explainer of the XFL’s kickoff rules:

 

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