During the past couple of days, the Minnesota Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell had been in low mood as his job of kickoff was taken by an outsider, former Carolina Panthers kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd. Longwell himself was reduced to play as a field-goal kicker.
Longwell had been the Vikings’ kickoff kicker for four seasons before Lloyd’s arrival, and he managed to set league-leading records in touchbacks for the past two seasons. However, the team thinks a kickoff specialist could handle the duties more professionally, and Longwell could fit better in the position of field-goal kicker. The team’s purpose is to improve the offense, but to Longwell, it sounds like eliminating all what he has achieved during the past few seasons and denial of his ability.
It seems that the Vikings have no intention to let Longwell go as they already paid a significant roster bonus to him. Actually, Longwell is currently one of the best paid kickers in the league. He has no reason to worry about his job. While still waiting for their starting quarterback to wear back the Brett Favre jersey, the Vikings surely do not want a kicker issue to cause distraction.