- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
The Vikings are treading familiar waters this offseason.
Minnesota has offensive line issues. The team might want to add a cornerback. And Kirk Cousins has come under fire from fans, though much of the criticism is unfair.
Here’s another not-so-new story: Minnesota has a kicking problem. Dan Bailey is coming off a season where he made 68.2% of his field goals and 86.% of his extra points. Both of those marks are career lows.
I’ve seen some suggest that the Vikings should stick with Bailey, because a historically accurate kicker like him is bound to get back on track. I’m not so sure of that.
His recent body of work actually suggests a decline. In 2017 and 2018, Bailey made just 75% of his field goals.
But in 2019, the Vikings stuck with him and were rewarded for it. He made 93.1% of his field goals. That led to the team re-signing him last offseason. Then, he struggled in 2020. An NFL season can be a small sample size, but Bailey has been inconsistent three of the last four seasons.
What should the Vikings do?
Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
This isn't as easy as just letting a contract expire. Minnesota has Bailey signed through 2022. The Vikings save $1.7 million on the 2021 salary cap, but incur a dead money hit of $2.1 million if they let him go, per Over The Cap. It'd be the best for business if Bailey went back to his old self, but in my opinion, that's too risky of a bet. Bailey has been one of the better kickers in NFL history. He may just need some time to get back to making over 93% of his field goals again. That said, the Vikings should let another team find out if Bailey still has it in 2021.