How long of a leash will the Vikings give Dan Bailey this season?

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Dan Bailey
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Dan Bailey /

If the Minnesota Vikings kicker struggles early this season, how many chances will the team give him to rebound before they let him go?

Heading into last season, the Minnesota Vikings probably figured that rookie Daniel Carlson would remain their kicker for the entire year. But unfortunately for Carlson, his tenure with the Vikings only lasted for two games before the team let him know they no longer needed his services.

After cutting ties with the rookie, Minnesota brought in veteran Dan Bailey to be their kicker for the remainder of the 2018 season. And now, Bailey finds himself in a similar position to Carlson as the Vikings inch closer to the regular season.

Patience would not be a good word to describe Minnesota’s relationship with kickers during Mike Zimmer’s tenure as the team’s head coach. Bailey is the Vikings’ fourth kicker since 2014 and the team just got done trying to replace him with Kaare Vedvik.

Luckily for the veteran, he was able to overcome Minnesota’s efforts to give his job to Vedvik (thanks mostly to Vedvik struggling) and Bailey will open the upcoming season as the team’s starting kicker.

In addition to the Vikings keeping the veteran as their kicker this year, the team also has a new holder in punter Britton Colquitt and a new long snapper in rookie Austin Cutting. So there are a lot of factors that could determine how well Bailey might perform this season.

Don’t think that Zimmer is about to let Minnesota having a new holder and a new long snapper be an excuse for their kicker to miss field goals or extra points this year.

Despite the unstable circumstances that Bailey has dealt with during the past few months leading up to the regular season, the Vikings are still going to expect him to go out and make almost all of his kicks this year.

If for some reason Bailey struggles during Minnesota’s first few games of the season, it will be interesting to see how the team and their head coach handles the situation.

Will Zimmer and the Vikings do what they’ve done in the past and throw their kicker under the bus and cut him? Or will Minnesota switch their strategy and actually give Bailey a chance to redeem himself?

Mike Zimmer to blame for the Vikings' kicking circus?. light. Related Story

One would like to hope that the kicking game won’t be an issue for the Vikings this season. But this is also Minnesota we’re talking about, a franchise that has been dealing with kicking problems for more time than they would like to admit.