It was the end of a long relationship Monday when the Vikings have cut longtime kicker Ryan Longwell.
Longwell sent out a tweet thanking “Viking Nation” for their support over the years and the Vikings later confirmed that they had parted ways with a man they signed to a four-year contract extension just last year. At first glance it might seem that Longwell, who turns 38 in August, might have decided not to keep playing, but Tom Pelissero of 1500 ESPN in Minneapolis reports that it was not a mutual parting of the ways.
The Vikings will now likely give the job to Blair Walsh, the rookie from Georgia that they took in the sixth round of the draft. Walsh connected on just over 50 percent of his field goal attempts as a senior.
Longwell, who spent six years with the Vikings after nine years in Green Bay, didn’t have a great 2011 — 22-of-28 on field goals, mediocre kickoffs — but there was a thought he’d at least compete with Walsh for the job. His salary of $1.75 million comes off the books, although the Vikings will still have some dead money thanks to the 3.5 million signing bonus he got when he signed his deal in 2011. He’ll likely find at least a chance to compete for a job over the summer.