At 33 years old, Andrew DePaola is the veteran in the competition. Before arriving in Minnesota last season, he spent time with the Buccaneers, Bears, Raiders, and Panthers after being an undrafted free agent out of Rutgers.
The Maryland native started seven games for the Vikings last year after parting ways with Austin Cutting and seemed to play at a decent level. His contract has him signed through the 2021 NFL season but releasing him in favor of another player wouldn’t cost them any salary cap penalties.
Specialists can have long careers in the NFL, so there is no need to bring age in as a factor when making a decision on the long snapper. However, his six years of experience in the league give him an advantage over the younger, more inexperienced competition.
When you couple that experience with his familiarity with the team, you create a situation where he should be the favorite to be the team’s long snapper this year. However, the job will not be handed to him and he will need to outplay his competition to hang on.