Jordan Berry knows his spot on roster is far from guaranteed

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Jordan Berry will have a new number and new competition when entering the 2022 season as the presumed starting punter for the Minnesota Vikings.

However, the veteran special-teamer knows better. He has been around long enough to figure out that nothing is ever guaranteed in the NFL. The line between a starting punter and an unsigned free agent is very thin.

It doesn’t help matters that he’s 31 years old and right in the middle of a regime shift. Throw in the fact that the Vikings just signed rookie free agent Ryan Wright to a deal and things are sure to get interesting throughout training camp.

“You’ve got new coaches and they didn’t really know me, so that’s obviously going to be part of it,” said Berry, when speaking with the Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson. “But the other part is I probably wasn’t the most consistent compared to what I want to be.

“I had like a decent year, but there’s definitely room to improve always and obviously once you get in the 30s, you could start slacking off, too. Some guys drop off pretty quick when they get older, so they’ve got to cover their bases. But I’m feeling pretty confident in myself.”

Assuming Berry ends up with the job, a brand new No. 16 jersey is awaiting him after he gave up No. 3 to Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler, who was looking to return to his college roots at Mississippi State.

But the competition will be stiff.

Wright averaged 47.5 yards per punt at Tulane last season, while Berry averaged 46.5 yards with the Vikings. Special teams coordinator Matt Daniels has made it abundantly clear that this is a legitimate competition.

And the same goes for veteran kicker Greg Joseph and incoming rookie Gabe Brkic. These aren’t just camp bodies to fill up space on the roster. Like Joseph, Berry’s contract could be in jeopardy if he gets beat out on the practice field by his younger counterpart.

But experience also matters in these competitions, and there is a wide gap when it comes to punting at the highest level. Berry will lean on that edge in hopes of carving out a spot of his own on the new-look Vikings’ roster.

List

Highlights and notes from Week 2 Vikings OTAs