The Vikings have a new kicker, or possibly a new punter.
Kaare Vedvik, a second-year pro from Norway, was acquired in a trade Sunday, the Ravens announced. The trade is pending a physical.
The Vikings sent a 2020 fifth-round pick to Baltimore, according to a league source, for Vedvik, who boosted his trade value with impressive kicking and punting during the Ravens’ preseason opener last week.
Vedvik, 25, was pulled off the Ravens’ practice field and was en route to Minnesota by Sunday afternoon. He’s expected to be made available to Twin Cities reporters on Monday. Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman told Vedvik’s agent, John Perla, the team would evaluate him in practice before deciding whether he’ll kick or punt.
“Whatever the team wants him to do, he’s capable,” Perla said. “It didn’t matter to Kaare, because he can do both.”
This Vikings training camp has been fraught with inconsistency from kicker Dan Bailey, who signed a one-year deal in March, and punter Matt Wile, who was the team’s holder before he was replaced by receiver Chad Beebe during Sunday’s practice.
Bailey has yet to have a perfect camp practice, missing at least one field goal each outing. He missed two field goals Sunday, hitting the right upright from 47 yards away and pushing the next attempt wide right from 48 yards. He went 5-for-7 on the day, all with Beebe holding.
Bailey, a ninth-year pro, was escorted off the practice field Sunday by a team spokesman and was not made available to reporters. An interview with Wile, who confirmed he did not hold Sunday, was quickly shut down by a team spokesman.
Coach Mike Zimmer held a news conference minutes after the trade was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, but he would not discuss the move.
“If we indeed made a trade, it’s to try and get better guys,” Zimmer said.
Zimmer praised Bailey while noting other reasons why the field-goal operation has been underwhelming in camp.
“Honestly, I really like Dan Bailey,” Zimmer said. “He’s a very professional, mature kid. We’ve been having some issues with the snap, hold and kick kind of thing. Having two long snappers, I think that’s adding to it a little bit. We’re working on holding quite a bit.”
Wile was not part of the holding plan Sunday, ceding reps to Beebe. He needs to improve as a punter, according to Zimmer, nearly a year after the Vikings claimed him off waivers from the Steelers. On Friday in New Orleans, Wile downed both punts inside the Saints 20-yard line, while averaging 42.5 net yards.
“The first punt was inside the 20, but not by much. I think he should’ve got it closer to the end zone,” Zimmer said. “I think he’s been better this camp. Directionally, he still needs work on going to his left.”
The Vikings were one of four NFL teams interested in trading for Vedvik, according to Perla, who said the Ravens would have traded Vedvik last year if not for an Aug. 31 assault that resulted in facial and head injuries and ended his rookie season on the non-football injury list. The Bears were reportedly another suitor.
Established Ravens kicker Justin Tucker and punter Sam Koch made Vedvik the latest to leave Baltimore’s specialist pipeline. Current NFL kickers Will Lutz (Saints) and Graham Gano (Panthers) also began their careers as undrafted signings in Baltimore.
Vedvik has traveled even farther to be in Minnesota. The Norway native moved to Kansas as a high school foreign exchange student, stimulating his growing interest in American football. He went undrafted in 2018 out of Marshall and remains close to his host family in Kansas, according to Perla.
He expected a change of scenery this summer, knowing the Ravens wanted to capitalize on his impressive outings. Last week’s Ravens preseason opener, when Vedvik made four field goals — including a long of 55 yards — and booted two punts averaging 55.5 yards, boosted his trade value.
It was Vedvik’s first game since he was assaulted.
“He’s got a strong resolve,” Perla said. “That great game validated his recovery.”
In six career preseason games for the Ravens, Vedvik has made 12 of 13 field-goal attempts, with a long of 56 yards. His lone miss came from 53. He has also averaged 40.6 net yards on 21 punts, including seven downed inside the 20-yard line.