It’s not every day you seen an NFL team trade away a draft pick to land a kicker, but that’s exactly what happened on Sunday, and surprisingly, the trade involved an NFC North team that’s not the Chicago Bears.
In a somewhat shocking deal, the Vikings have acquired kicker Kaare Vedvik from the Ravens. In exchange for Vedvik, Baltimore will get a 2020 fifth-round draft pick from Minnesota. According to ESPN.com, the deal marks the first time in more than 20 years that a team has given up that much compensation to land a kicker.
Since 1995, there have been a total of eight trades involving kickers and the only other time a kicker was traded for a pick as high as a fifth-rounder came in 1996 when Pete Stoyanovich was dealt from Miami to Kansas City.
The reason the Vikings offered so much compensation for Vedvik is because they were basically competing with other teams. According to ESPN.com, a total of four teams called the Ravens over the weekend to inquire about possibly trading for Vedvik. Although it’s not clear which four teams made the call, ESPN did note that there were two NFC North teams involved.
With the Bears struggling to find a kicker, Chicagowas going to end up, but that won’t be happening now after the Vikings swooped in and stole him.
Although all eyes have been on the Bears kicking woes, this deal definitely makes sense for Minnesota and that’s because they had one of the ugliest kicking situations in the NFL last year with Dan Bailey.
After being cut by the Cowboys before the 2018 season started, Bailey signed with the Vikings and ended up struggling. In 14 games with Minnesota, Bailey hit just 75 percent of his field goals (21 of 28), which was the second-worst conversion rate for any kicker that attempted more than 20 field goals last season. Bailey also struggled during his final season with the Cowboys in 2017, when he also hit just 75 percent of his field goals.
With Vedvik, the Vikings will be getting a kicker who has been nearly perfect during his two preseasons with the Ravens. In 2018, he went 8 of 9 during the preseason, which included hitting a 56-yarder.
This year, Vedvik looks even better. In the Ravens 29-0 win over Jacksonville on Thursday, Vedvik hit 4 of 4 field goals (55, 45, 26, 29). One of the biggest upsides of the 25-year-old is that he can also punt. In the game against the Jaguars, Vedvik averaged 55.5 yards on two punts.
With Justin Tucker locked into the Ravens kicking job, Vedvik knew he was likely going to get traded at some point, but he wasn’t really paying attention to any of the rumors.
“I don’t really ever think about that,” Vedvik said last week, via ESPN.com. “I’m focused on playing the game. That’s it. Teams that are interested, they talk to coach, the head honcho. I’m just going to play the game.”
According to ESPN.com, the Vikings might use Vedvik as both a kicker AND a punter, which means both Bailey and Matt Wile could be out of a job. If Vedvik can handle both positions, that would open up a roster spot for Minnesota since they would no longer have to carry both a kicker and a punter.
Vedvik, who’s from Norway, probably would have been traded last year, but the Ravens held on to him after he was assaulted in East Baltimore in an incident where he was found alone with multiple face injuries. After the late August incident, he.