Vikings decide to create a brand new position battle for 2024

Minnesota Vikings punter Ryan Wright
Minnesota Vikings punter Ryan Wright / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Two years after Ryan Wright surprisingly made the Minnesota Vikings final 2022 roster, the punter's future with the team now seems to be at least in a bit of doubt.

Unlike what they did with the kicking position, the Vikings did not sign a punter during the early weeks of free agency this offseason or select one in this year's NFL Draft. However, on Tuesday, Minnesota announced the signing of punter Seth Vernon.

Undrafted out of Portland State, Vernon signed with the Atlanta Falcons in the 2022 offseason, but he was let go before the start of the 2022 regular season. He has yet to appear in a regular-season NFL game.

Who is the new punter for the Minnesota Vikings?

During his college career at Portland State, Vernon averaged 44.6 yards per punt, and 49.4 percent of his punts resulted in a fair catch or the ball being downed inside the opposing 20-yard line.

With the Falcons in 2022, he appeared in only one preseason game, and during that matchup, he punted three times. Those three punts traveled an average distance of 44.7 yards, and his longest punt of the contest was a 57-yarder.

How long Vernon remains with the Vikings is something that has yet to be determined. One would imagine that they would like to keep him around at least through training camp this summer, but an earlier departure from the team wouldn't be a surprise.

His competition will be Wright, who ranked 18th in the league last season in average net yards per punt. This was down from 2022, when he ranked 11th in this category.

Competition typically brings out the best in players, so will the signing of Vernon on Tuesday motivate Wright to get back on track before the 2024 regular season? Or will Minnesota end up entering Week 1 of the 2024 campaign with a brand new punter?

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