The Vikings released veteran PK Ryan Longwell on Monday, the team announced. He had been with Minnesota the past six seasons.
“Ryan has meant a great deal to the Vikings organization both on and off field over the past six seasons,” Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said. “We wish him all the best in the future and thank him for his service to the Minnesota Vikings.”
Longwell is the third all-time leading scorer in Vikings history and is the Packers’ all-time leading scorer. Last season, he connected on 22-of-28 field-goal attempts and made 38-of-39 point-after-tries.
The Vikings selected Georgia PK Blair Walsh in the sixth round of last month’s draft.
The way we see it
This is only a surprise in that Longwell received a $3.5 million signing bonus 10 months ago. The speculation is that the Vikings thought they could remain competitive prior to last season (with Donovan McNabb at quarterback) and wanted as many of their key pieces in place. Longwell struggled with consistency down the stretch, turns 38 in August and hasn't been great on kickoffs, and the team's drafting of Walsh was a clear indication that Longwell's job was in jeopardy.
The expectation was that the two would compete in training camp for the job, but perhaps the Longwell camp asked for the Vikings to give him a better chance to land elsewhere now — and it was granted.