by Brad Biggs
May 07, 02012
The Minnesota Vikings surprised some when they invested a sixth-round draft pick in Blair Walsh, the kicker from Georgia.
Today, they showed you why. The plan is to move on and to do that the Vikings released veteran Ryan Longwell. In six seasons with the Vikings, Longwell made 85.99 percent of his field goals but his leg strength has not been ideal on kickoffs. The move was made the day after Walsh performed in the team’s rookie minicamp.
“Ryan has meant a great deal to the Vikings organization both on and off field over the past six seasons,” Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said in a statement released by the club. “We wish him all the best in the future and thank him for his service to the Minnesota Vikings.”
Sometimes, NFL clubs try to move on from veterans and wind up going through a host of players as they seek a replacement. As the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes, Walsh connected on only 21 of 35 field goal attempts last season as a senior at Georgia.
Longwell, who turns 38 in August, made 22 of 28 field goal tries last season. He spent nine seasons previously with the Green Bay Packers and has not missed a game in his career.
Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs
Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune