The Vikings’ Next Signing Comes Out of Left Field

The Vikings’ next signing wasn’t easy to foresee.

Per Tom Pelissero of The NFL Network, Minnesota will be bringing in John Parker Romo to compete for the kicker job: “The #Vikings are signing former XFL kicker John Parker Romo, per source. Romo previously spent time with Detroit, New Orleans and Chicago but hasn’t kicked in an NFL game. He won kicking guru Gary Zauner’s competition Saturday with a 64-yard FG and got three offers.”

The Vikings’ Next Signing Comes Out of Left Field

Incumbent Greg Joseph, a free agent, has ice water in his veins but struggled from distance. Apparently, that combination was enough to prompt Minnesota’s leadership to look for some added competition.

NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings
Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings place kicker Greg Joseph (1) is congratulated by punter Ryan Wright (14) after kicking a field goal against the New York Giants during the third quarter of a wild card game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Parker Romo is 26 and comes in at 5’11”, 188. He began his college career at Tulsa before moving over to Virginia Tech (overlapping with Christian Darrisaw). His final season arrived in 2021. He went 34/34 on his extra points and 18/22 on his field goals.

Back in 2019, he even took some reps as a punter, launching 8 punts for 354 yards (44.3 average).

Per a piece on Sports Illustrated, Parker Romo went 17/19 on his field goals while playing in the XFL. He had a season high of 57 yards. If that kind of distance can translate to an NFL field, then the Vikings will be happy. Being able to nail a kick from 57 is more than good enough.

Syndication: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Lions place kicker John Parker Romo (24) watches practice during OTAs at Detroit Lions headquarters in Allen Park on Thursday, June 1, 2023.

That being said, there’s very little chance that special teams coordinator Matt Daniels contents himself with just Parker Romo. In all likelihood, the Vikings will welcome in someone else to compete for the K1 position in 2024.

An NFL kicker is a bit like a closer in baseball. Pressure is a central part of the job, so needing to fend off offseason competition is often a good thing. Seeing Joseph return won’t be surprising. Neither would an addition from the 2024 NFL Draft or from the batch of UDFAs.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Las Vegas Raiders
Dec 10, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings place kicker Greg Joseph (1) celebrates with Minnesota Vikings long snapper Andrew DePaola (42) after kicking a field goal against the Las Vegas Raiders during the fourth quarter at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Basically any Vikings fan can relay his/her own story of kicking heartbreak while following Minnesota football. Some of the franchise’s most infamous moments have come courtesy of a cursed boot, so nailing the kicker decision isn’t a minor deal.

Especially with the offense now so uncertain after seeing Kirk Cousins depart, Minnesota will need their special teams to be sharp. And, truth be told, it doesn’t matter where Parker Romo played last year. Football is perpetually future-oriented in its outlook. All that matters is whether the new signing can succeed in the future, not what he was or wasn’t able to do in the past.

The contract for John Parker Romo is going to be modest.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference and Sports Reference CFB helped with this piece.

K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.