Who is Kaare Vedvik and how can he help the Vikings?

(Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images) Kaare Vedvik
(Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images) Kaare Vedvik /

The Minnesota Vikings new kicker (or punter) is a special teams ace from the Baltimore Ravens and he could be Marwan Maalouf’s way to fix the Vikings’ woes.

After several seasons worth of special teams disasters, the Minnesota Vikings have at least been proactive in trying to find a solution this year.

Since Rick Spielman took over as the Vikings general manager in 2012, they have used three draft picks to help stop the bleeding at kicker and yet, they still find a revolving door at the position.

After the highly publicized flop of Daniel Carlson (who is killing it with the Oakland Raiders these days), the Vikings went trading for kickers again as they acquired Kaare Vedvik from the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for a 2020 fifth-round draft pick on Sunday.

While the newest Viking has a Norweigian descent (which alone should be worth the draft pick for a team called the Vikings), many fans are still wondering just who is Vedvik and how can he help Minnesota’s troubled history at kicker.

Vedvik’s story began in Norway, where he was born and got introduced to football when they showed the Super Bowl in his home country for the first time. After getting his first taste of American football, he was hooked and decided to use his foreign exchange trip to come to the United States where he landed in McPherson, Kansas.

"“I just remembered I watched and was like, ‘Wow, that looks amazing.’ Growing up I was super passionate about sports and being active, and I just love to compete, have a passion for it.”"

After trying out for the football team, the coaches saw his past as a soccer player and decided to try him out at kicker. A successful season in Kansas and several kicking camps later, Vedvik landed at Marshall University, where he had the leg to be a D-I kicker, but his accuracy was something that needed to be refined.

Vedvik redshirted during his first year at Marshall in 2013 and he became their kickoff specialist in 2014. According to the Vikings’ team website, he recorded 45 touchbacks on 98 kickoffs, but he also lead the nation with eight kickoffs landing out of bounds.

As Vedvik was buried behind two kickers on the depth chart, the coaching staff at Marshall would eventually go up to him and state their need for a punter. Vedvik would oblige and spend the next three years learning how to punt.

When the Thundering Herd’s starting kicker was injured before Vedvik’s senior season in 2017, the opportunity to kick field goals came and he led the way for his most impressive season yet.

Vedvik went 10-for-16 (62.5 percent) on field goal attempts and he also knocked down 41-of-42 his extra-point tries. In addition to averaging 44 yards per punt, he earned All-Conference USA honors and earn an apprenticeship with the Ravens last preseason.

While Baltimore did have All-Pros Justin Tucker and Sam Koch on the roster, Vedvik took it as an opportunity to learn and become a better all-around special teams player.

"“I was with two of the best at what they do. Every day, day in and day out I studied them. They gave me advice, and I got to learn from the veterans and see the attention to detail that they have, which helps me to have a more linear focus on what I have to get better at and how to improve myself. That year has probably been the year that I’ve seen the most progress as a specialist.”"

Vedvik impressed as a member of the Ravens during the preseason in 2018, going 8-for-9 on field goals including a 56-yarder in the season finale against Jacksonville and 9-for-9 on extra points for a total of 33 points.

Unfortunately, he was a victim in a late-night assault in Baltimore between the preseason finale and the regular season cuts and he found his way on the Non-Football Injury/Reserve list ending his hopes of making the roster.

After a season of rehab, Vedvik came back strong and went 4-for-4 in field goals and 2-for-2 on extra points in the Ravens’ preseason opener against Jacksonville last week while also booming two punts for an average of 55.5 yards.

That performance had several teams calling Baltimore about his availability according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and a couple of hours later, he was on his way to Minnesota.

Now a member of the Vikings, many are wondering just what role he will fill. After coughing up another fifth-round pick to try and fix their special teams, it’s almost a given that Vedvik will make the team unless if he has a total meltdown during the preseason.

After Dan Bailey made just 75 percent (21-for-28) of his kicks last season and punter Matt Wile has had his share of issues, the next three preseason games will be important to determine Vedvik’s role with Minnesota in 2019.

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Until then, he’s willing to demonstrate the same team player attitude he has displayed throughout his career.