MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - After four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, Kevin McDermott’s time as a long snapper in Minnesota is over.
In a slew of special teams moves made Sunday, the Vikings terminated the contract of McDermott, who was entering his seventh NFL season after being drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2013. The release means that seventh round draft pick Austin Cutting, the Vikings’ last choice in the 2019 NFL Draft, has likely won a job on the final roster.
Cutting, who graduated from Air Force back in May, reached an agreement between the service academy and the Vikings to serve as a local recruiter. He could perform his service duties, and chase his NFL dream.
It’s an interesting decision with kicker Dan Bailey working with both McDermott and Cutting in Training Camp. Bailey has yet to have a perfect day kicking, but was more consistent making kicks with McDermott snapping. The writing for McDermott might have been on the wall when Rick Spielman decided to use one of his draft picks on Cutting.
Speaking of kickers, the Vikings might be giving Bailey some competition in Training Camp heading into their first preseason home game. The Vikings acquired punter/kicker Kaare Vedvik on Sunday from the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for an undisclosed draft pick.
Vedvik’s versatility as a kicker and punter making him an interesting acquisition for the Vikings. He could compete with Bailey for the kicker spot, or Matt Wile for the punter position. He spent 2018 on the Baltimore Ravens non-football injury list after signing with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent. He played 38 college games at Marshall as both a kicker and punter, and is originally from Norway.
Vedik will have his work cut out for him if he is competing with Bailey for kicking duties. Bailey is one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history, and in 14 games last season with Minnesota, was 30-of-31 on extra points and 21-of-28 on field goals. He was a perfect 11-of-11 from 30 to 39 yards out last season, but had his problems from 40 to 49 yards out, where he was just 4-of-9.
But he's had at least one miss in every camp practice. He was, however, 4-of-4 on extra points Friday night at New Orleans.
"Honestly, I really like Dan Bailey. He’s a very professional and mature kid. We have been having some issues with the snap, hold, and kick kind of thing, and having two long snappers I think is adding to that a little bit because timing is different. The holding, we are working on quite a bit, but I like Dan," Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said before Sunday's practice.
Wile only punted twice in Friday night’s 34-25 preseason win at New Orleans, and both of them landed inside the Saints’ 20-yard line.
"He only had two punts, but the first punt was inside the 20, but not by much. I think he should have got it closer to the end zone on that one," Zimmer said. "I think he’s been better this camp. Directionally he still needs to work on going to his left, but I think he’s done better this camp."
It also appears Wile could have some competition holding for whoever ends up kicking for the Vikings. Special Teams coach Marwan Maalouf has tried several players at holder during camp, including Adam Thielen and Chad Beebe, who worked at holding duties during the team’s practice Sunday afternoon at TCO Performance Center.
So is it all a sign that Wile and Bailey need some healthy competition? Zimmer says not so fast.
“No, I don’t think so. I think anytime, if we indeed made a trade, it’s to try and get better guys, wherever we do that,” Zimmer said before the Vikings confirmed Sunday’s roster moves.
Vedvik is expected to address media at Training Camp Monday afternoon.