Vikings not bashful about admitting Daniel Carlson blunder

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The Vikings obtained kicker Daniel Carlson by trading up for a fifth-round pick earlier this year. On Monday, they gave him away, for nothing.

He exits with his $243,000 signing bonus, advance payment for four years of service when in the end he lasted only two games. The money is next to nothing; the harder part for the Vikings had to be folding the tents on a failed fifth-round pick so quickly into his tenure.

It’s hardly uncommon, however. Mid-to-low-round picks routinely don’t make the 53-man roster of a given team, walking away with their signing bonuses and giving the organization regret for picking them instead of someone else.

But the Vikings have learned the hard way the danger of sticking with a kicker in the hopes that he’ll find a way to get over the yips. Blair Walsh had been a solid contributor from 2012 through 2015. He shanked a chip shot that would have sealed a playoff win over the Seahawks, and he never was the same.

The Vikings remained stubbornly patient as he missed kick after kick in 2016, presumably hoping to reap the benefit of his second chance in lieu of letting another team realize it. The Vikings ultimately waited too long.

This time around, the Vikings opted to show no patience. And for good reason. The supply of adequate kickers far outweighs the demand. If one kicker can’t get it done, another one can.

The fact that Dan Bailey, the second most accurate kicker in league history, was available for now and may not have been for long may have prompted the Vikings to show no patience with Carlson. Regardless, Carlson failed to deliver when he had to know his job was potentially riding on the outcome. That makes him not the guy to trust when the season may be riding on whether one of his kicks ends up making it through the uprights.

32 responses to “Vikings not bashful about admitting Daniel Carlson blunder

  1. As noted, a fifth round pick is not a huge deal and far from a sure thing. So, it made sense to move on. But, I am sure the Packer ‘fans’ will be on here ranting about how it is so indicative of the entire Vikings organization that a 5th round pick didn’t work out.

  2. As Frank Herbert once wrote, The difference between a great decision maker and a terrible one is about 10 seconds. A great decision maker acknowledges something has gone wrong and immediately seeks solutions to address it. A terrible one looks for someone to shift the blame to asks for studies to justify why it’s not their fault.

    It’s always enjoyable to see decision makers act after their mistakes rather than wait around and make the problems worse.

  3. Players always say that the NFL is a business, this move solidifies that statement. Feel bad for the kid but you’re getting paid to provide a service, missing is not a service people pay for very often.

  4. Thankfully Zim is out of 2nd chances for these kickers. You have one job. I’ll never trust a kicker again after Walsh.

    If Bailey starts missing kicks I expect they’ll schedule his postgame conference at the airport.

  5. Adam Vinatieri made 2 of his first 6 FG attempts in the NFL. Sensing a make-or-break moment, Bill Parcells had Vinatieri line up for a short FG at the very end of a blowout win, not to rub it in on the opponent, but to test the kicker. Parcells has publicly stated that he would have cut Vinatieri had the kicker missed the attempt. But he made it…and the rest is history.

  6. Kickers are a dime a dozen. Cut your losses and move on. Unless you’ve got a Dan Bailey or a Michael Dickson.

  7. This analysis misses the main point. They shouldn’t have drafted a kicker in the first place. Much less trade up for him.

    Vikings would be scarier with Kai Forbath and Josh Gordon at #3 wr than anything else they do now.

  8. My thoughts and best wishes go out to Daniel Carlson. It’s a tough job for tough guys and the pressure is immense. Just because he couldn’t make it today doesn’t mean he won’t make it tomorrow.

  9. Whether it’s something mechanical or psychological, there’s no excuse for his play — especially when you consider how the rest of the team fought back (albeit with the help of a few questionable calls).

    As glad as I am about Zimmer and co. not sugar coating it, I feel very fortunate that there was a viable option available. When they cut Blair, there wasn’t a guy like Steely Dan to go get.

  10. I was hoping to see Carlson make it.

    But after missing 3 in a row – any one of which would have won the game – even he knew he was gone. He said as much in the locker room when he admitted his confidence was lacking on the final attempt.

    With Dan Bailey waiting for a call from the “right” team, I’m glad Rick made the call…

  11. The life of a young kicker is brutal. 9 times out of 10 they need time to adjust to the NFL but the position by nature will not allow it…..so they get cut….and maybe get cut again Then they finally ‘get it’ and stick with their 3rd or 4th team. Look at Randy Bullock..Dustin Hopkins. etc. The current crop of lickers that are young and unemployeed are Nick Rose and Matt McCrane

  12. He got himself cut with his post game interview. He admitted confidence was the issue. How is his confidence after that game? It was only going to get worse.

  13. Liberalsruineverything says:
    September 19, 2018 at 9:19 am

    On a stacked roster a fifth round pick doesn’t mean much. Especially when the Vikings usually have the best UFAs beating down the door after the draft.

    +++++

    Steffon Diggs was a 5th rounder. Does he not mean much? stacked rosters stay stacked only if they can replenish their cheap talent. But a missed pick due to trying to fix what wasn’t broken – dumb. Forbath was 47-53. But Zimmer wants perfection from his specialist.

  14. The thing that kills me is he’s always been clutch. He had one bad game his 2nd NFL game and they not only cut him but completely throw him under the bus. What a great TEAM he was on. Not much of one that doesn’t stand behind one of their own. Maybe he would have more confidence if that moron Zimmer wasn’t piling on. I hope he is judged so quickly and completely one day. Maybe he will learn a little compassion instead of just how to be an ass

  15. I will start this by saying I’m a former kicker, that’s all I did my senior year in high school. You will all say yeah yeah yeah yeah. My point is, as a specialist you have ONE job and 97 percent of the time it needs to be executed with perfection no shanks, no wide rights, no wide lefts. It was Carlson’s job to lose an he lost it. A 5th rounder is never a guarantee and really neither is a 1st rounder. I do know it can get into your head and your start thinking to much and trying too hard. BUT as they say this is the NFL NOT FOR LONG and you have to make every kick and opportunity count. Feel bad for the kid but, its the nature of the beast.

  16. FlashPatterson says:
    September 18, 2018 at 10:41 pm

    Thankfully Zim is out of 2nd chances for these kickers. You have one job. I’ll never trust a kicker again after Walsh.

    If Bailey starts missing kicks I expect they’ll schedule his postgame conference at the airport.
    ————————————-
    2nd chances? I think he actually got 3 chances.

  17. You have to be almost perfect to keep a job as an NFL kicker. There are too many good kickers available for a team to stick with a kicker who misses three very makeable field goals in one game. The truth of today’s NFL is that a kicker should never miss a kick under 50 yards unless the kick gets blocked or there is a bad snap or there are hurricane force winds.

  18. “As noted, a fifth round pick is not a huge deal and far from a sure thing. So, it made sense to move on. But, I am sure the Packer ‘fans’ will be on here ranting about how it is so indicative of the entire Vikings organization that a 5th round pick didn’t work out.”

    Really? You’re gonna start a thread defending the Vikings from anticipated attacks about a 5th round kicker? Sad that every thread is filled with this junk.

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