Blair Walsh MINNEAPOLIS, MN – SEPTEMBER 18: Kicker Blair Walsh #3 of the Minnesota Vikings in action during the game against the Green Bay Packers on September 18, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Kickers are often overlooked until they start faltering. Such is the life of Blair Walsh, who is now out of a job after the Minnesota Vikings let him go today.

Walsh has had a rough season in Minnesota with four missed field goals and, perhaps even more frustrating, four missed extra points. On Sunday against Washington, Walsh missed an extra point in a 26-20 loss. Last week , the Vikings were hoping to light a fire under their struggling kicker by holding open auditions for the job. It seems that plan backfired on them.

“We’re going to see what all the options are,” Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said on Monday. “We’re going to see what the options are at kicker, and then make a determination and go.”

The good news for the Vikings is there are always kickers to be signed on the free agent market, but finding one that can be as reliable as you need in the NFL is always a gamble with a position that seems to be hit or miss and changes with the wind. One year, a kicker can look automatic and the next year, they are as shaky as ever. This appears to be the case for Walsh, who earned a Pro Bowl nod with the Vikings in 2012. Walsh really started to falter once the Vikings moved to an outdoor stadium in 2014 and he has never truly recovered, despite the Vikings moving back indoors.

Not every kicker is going to be Adam Vinatieri. The NFL modified the PAT rules this year, putting even more pressure on kickers and adding extra value to having a trusted kicker. Now the Vikings need to hope for the best with whatever kicker they pick up in free agency.


About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.