Kai Forbath not shying away from Minnesota Vikings kicking competition

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Kai Forbath
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Kai Forbath /

The Minnesota Vikings may have used a fifth-round draft pick on a kicker, but Kai Forbath is ready to fight for the job in preseason competition.

Normally, when a team trades up to select a kicker in the NFL Draft, that isn’t a good sign for the player who is currently on the roster. The Minnesota Vikings did just that this year by selecting Daniel Carlson in the fifth round, but that isn’t going to get to returning specialist Kai Forbath.

Forbath signed a one year deal with the Vikings worth $1 million according to Spotrac, including a signing bonus of $200,000 and a workout bonus of $10,000. However, the remaining $790,000 is not guaranteed.

In a recent post on the Pioneer Press website, it was revealed that the Minnesota Vikings drafting of Daniel Carlson was a bit of a shock to Forbath but he is still planning on fighting hard during training camp and the preseason to win the competition.

"“Fortunately, I’ve never lost a competition. I’m not shying away from this one just because they drafted him. As long as I make my kicks, everything else should take care of itself.”"

Daniel Carlson is ready for the competition as well. He knows that pitting himself against Forbath will help to improve his game and has the right attitude heading into a position battle with the veteran kicker.

"“We are both working to help the team; that’s what it’s all about. Usually, competition drives better success, so that’s what we’re going to do. At the end of the day, both of us want to win the job, so it’ll be interesting to see how things play out. We will both give it our best shot, and at the end of the day one of us will help the team as best that we can.”"

Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings /

Minnesota Vikings

It is still far too early to make any kind of judgment as far as who will win this competition, but it has to be believed that right now the job is Carlson’s to lose. Not only does a team not use a fifth-round draft pick on a kicker to motivate a player, but they don’t trade up in the draft to do so.

However, that doesn’t mean Forbath has no chance. If he continues to be consistent on kicks, his experience and consistency could prove to be a better asset to the franchise than a younger player with a bigger leg.

This won’t be an easy decision for head coach Mike Zimmer and special teams coach Mike Priefer, but it will be a fun competition to watch develop a training camp and preseason goes on.

"“We still have a long way to go before we have to make final cuts. We will see how it goes. If one guy is way ahead of the other guy, then we might make the change sooner, so the other guy gets all the reps,” Zimmer said. “I feel like one thing we have to be careful about is there’s not 65,000 people screaming and doing the Skol chant and all those other things when they’re out here. If they miss a game-winner here, it’s probably not the same if they miss a game-winner.”"

Next: Projecting the Vikings' final 2018 roster (Post-draft)

Whether it is Kai Forbath or Daniel Carlson who is the kicker for the Minnesota Vikings during the 2018 NFL season, fans can rest assured knowing that the team is doing what they can to ensure that the best player at the position is on the field to help the franchise get to the next level.