The fallout from the tie heard ’round the NFC North has begun:
The #Vikings have waived kicker Daniel Carlson, source said.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 17, 2018
And it sounds like Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer didn’t even have to think twice about it:
Why did the Vikings cut Daniel Carlson?
Mike Zimmer: “Did you see the game?”
Was it an easy decision?
Mike Zimmer: “Yeah, it was pretty easy.”
— Chad Graff (@ChadGraff) September 17, 2018
WELP. That says everything you need to know about the situation, doesn’t it?
In case you missed it, the Vikings played the Packers to a tie on Sunday and Daniel Carlson was a big reason why. The (now former) Vikings place kicker missed three field goal attempts on Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field. Two of those attempts came in overtime, with the final one coming as time expired. It was a rough day in the office for Carlson, a rookie who played his college ball at Auburn and was a fifth-round choice of the Vikings in the 2018 NFL Draft.
It’s not just that Carlson’s three misfires not only helped lead to the tie, it’s that the missed field goals could ultimately impact the Bears, the NFC North race, and the chase for a postseason berth in the conference altogether.
Naturally, Minnesota wasted little time in finding his replacement:
Vikings are signing former Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey, per source. Bailey had turned down four offers since start of season.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 17, 2018
Dan Bailey is a 30-year-old kicker who was surprisingly cut from Cowboys camp before the season started. Bailey suffered a groin injury in 2017, which caused him to miss four games and finish the year with a sub-par (by his lofty standards) 75 percent success rate on field goals. Overall, Bailey has made 88.2 percent of his kicks in his seven-year career, with his best season coming in 2015 when he was successful on 93.8 percent of his attempts. A banner year for Bailey helped him earn a Pro Bowl invitation.
Adding Bailey to Minnesota’s special teams unit is certainly an upgrade for a team with championship aspirations. There are few feelings in sports worse than watching a team fight their way into a position to win a ball game, only for it to become undone by the kicking game. The Vikings (and Packers, to an extent) had a front-row seat for what that looked like on Sunday, and one team decided once was enough.