Vikings releasing Blair Walsh
Multiple reports have confirmed that the Minnesota Vikings are releasing kicker Blair Walsh on Tuesday.
Rumors have swirled for weeks about the security of Blair Walsh’s job in Minnesota. It seems that the kicker has run out of opportunities as the team announced Tuesday that Walsh would be released.
The two sides tried to make things work, but it came to a point where Walsh was struggling too much. The Vikings drafted Walsh in the sixth round back in 2012, a rather high draft pick for a kicker. Throughout his five seasons with the team, Walsh made 133 of 158 field goals, good for 84.2 percent. The back-breaking statistic has come this season, however, as Walsh has missed four extra point attempts.
Frustration has been building for Blair Walsh and the Vikings alike since his missed kick in the 2016 Playoffs against the Seattle Seahawks. It was a 27-yard chip shot that sailed wide left which cost the Vikings a trip to the NFC Divisional round. Fans have had a tough time forgetting since then, booing Walsh on almost any kick that he’s missed.
We have released K Blair Walsh. pic.twitter.com/bNR5t44ZWJ
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) November 15, 2016
Kicking is a cutthroat profession these days. If you aren’t producing, a team can easily find a free agent off the street who will kick better, and for less money. You saw this case with the Chicago Bears’ longtime kicker Robbie Gould who was cut before the regular season.
The decision with Walsh couldn’t have been an easy one for the franchise. Head coach Mike Zimmer staunchly supported Walsh on many occasions, they just couldn’t extend his leash any further.
Kicking isn’t the only problem contributing to four straight losses for the Vikings. The defense hasn’t been as dominant as it was to start the season and there is virtually no running game. Walsh being cut is a sign of frustration boiling over in Minnesota, and they hope to right the ship quickly.
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