Will embattled kicker Daniel Carlson end up back on the Vikings?

posted by Aj Mansour - 

Photo: Getty Images

I know, it seems crazy to even think. When you say it out loud it sounds even crazier but there is a way that the waived rookie kicker Daniel Carlson could end up back on the Vikings as early as tomorrow.

Here's how it works.

Since he is not a vested veteran, having played four seasons, Carlson is subjected to waivers. The waiver wire allows all 31 other teams in the league an opportunity to claim Carlson or to waive their right to claim him. The priority of the waiver wire was set based off of team finishes last season. If all 31 other NFL teams do not have interest and waive their right to sign Carlson he becomes a free agent and would be able if both parties were interested to sign to the Vikings practice squad.

Here's why that might make sense for both parties.

For Carlson, I'm not sure I see another route for him to return to an NFL team. For the most part team's don't get desperate enough to invest in an unproven kicker who appears to presently be damaged goods. Getting back on the practice squad allows him to be in an NFL locker room, work with an NFL team and get better as a kicker.

For the Vikings, depending on how much they are paying Dan Bailey for the rest of the 2018 season, he might only be a stop gap for a temporary problem. Remember, Bailey was signed to a mongo contract with the Dallas Cowboys. He was set to make $3.4 million in 2018 and wasn't accepting a penny less than that from Jerry Jones, so they cut him. 

The Vikings only had $2.7 million available in cap space before signing Bailey but if a lion's share of that went to the kicker, it might not be a long-term solution. 

Minnesota saw something in Carlson, twice. They saw enough to move up into the 5th round and draft him last April. Then they saw enough in him to give him the nod over Kai Forbath part way through the preseason schedule. Even if you don't think they make the best personnel decisions, they're not idiots. They know the kid has talent.

So the potential exists for the Vikings to grab him if he clears waivers, stick him on the old Practice Squad and work through this situation with him.

Carlson gets a second shot to work towards redemption and the Vikings keep their investment, the one that they thought would pay dividends already this year. Then if Bailey is just aight this season and in the event he wants a ton of money again in the future, boom you have Carlson there ready to go.

Not sure that instills a ton of confidence in anybody at this point but it could be a tactic the team explores.

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