The meat-and-potatoes reason why Riley Patterson signed with the Vikings

(Photo by Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports) Riley Patterson
(Photo by Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports) Riley Patterson /

The Minnesota Vikings have a new kicker in rookie Riley Patterson and he’s looking forward to battling Greg Joseph for a spot on the roster.

Kicking is a sensitive subject for those who root for the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings haven’t reached the Super Bowl since 1976 and poor performances from kickers have played a large part in this happening.

Last season, Minnesota fans got to watch the career of Dan Bailey crumble before their eyes. Unfortunately, it was a familiar pain as it was just another example of Vikings faithful suffering through a brutal year by a kicker in their favorite team’s uniform.

Currently, Minnesota has two kickers on their roster. One has never even kicked a football in an NFL game and the other has only attempted one field goal in the last two seasons. Vikings fans couldn’t be more excited.

New Minnesota Vikings kicker looking forward to the ‘open competition’ this year

After releasing Bailey in March, Minnesota was left with Greg Joseph being the only kicker on their roster for a little bit. That was until earlier this week when the Vikings signed undrafted rookie kicker Riley Patterson.

During his four years at the University of Memphis, Patterson converted 97.6 percent of his extra-point tries and 77.1 percent of his field-goal attempts. However, in 2019, he connected on 92 percent of his field-goal tries (23-for-25).

In a recent conversation with the Edwardsville Intelligencer’s Matt Kamp, Patterson shared some of his excitement about signing with Minnesota.

"“I wanted to go to the Vikings. I was hoping they were going to draft me, but at the end of the day, it’s still the same opportunity.I love their special teams coach and situation, especially with them being indoors. It’s the best spot I could imagine going to.I’ve been told it’s an open competition between Greg Joseph and me. I’ve heard really good things about Greg and that he’s a really good kicker. It’s going to be a good competition.”"

An open competition? That sounds interesting since most probably figured the job was Joseph’s to lose.

But with the way Patterson presented it, it sounds like the rookie is going to get a fair shot at making the Vikings’ roster this year. The fact that he was told the kicking job is going to be an open competition is probably the biggest reason why he was so interested in signing with Minnesota.

Whether it’s Patterson or Joseph who ends up winning the kicking battle this summer, they will have to deal with the potential wrath of Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer after missing their first kick in a game that matters.

The competition in camp is going to seem like a cakewalk compared to the comments Zimmer might make if Minnesota loses a game due to a missed kick. So have fun with that guys.