Packers Begin Offseason by Signing Former Vikings Kicker
The Green Bay Packers were eliminated from the playoffs last weekend, and their offseason has officially begun.
One of the reasons that they were unable to defeat the San Francisco 49ers last weekend was because kicker Anders Carlson missed a 43-yard field goal that would have extended Green Bay’s lead to seven points with less than six minutes left in the game.
As a result, Green Bay has started their offseason by signing a former Vikings kicker: Jack Podlesny.
Packers Sign Former Vikings Kicker
The Leap’s Jason Hirschhorn reported the news by tweeting, “The Packers have signed kicker Jack Podlesny. Podlesny signed with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent last offseason and was released on Aug. 17. He was the SEC Special Teams Player of the Year in 2022.”
Podlesny spent his collegiate years at the University of Georgia playing for the Bulldogs. During his three years at Georgia, he made 182 out of 184 extra points, and he hit 82.4% of his field goals, nailing 61 of 74 attempts. He also played under the brightest of lights in college football by kicking during both of Georgia’s national title runs in 2021 and 2022.
The former Georgia kicker was one of the best in all of college football during the 2022 season, making 26 of his 31 field goals and 73 of his 74 extra points en route to the SEC Special Teams Player of the Year award.
Podlesny signed with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent ahead of the 2023 season, and he spent training camp with the team before being cut on August 17th.
While many expected Greg Joseph to retain the job as Vikings kicker, special teams coordinator Matt Daniels confirmed during training camp that there was a kicking battle in Vikings camp last summer. “Last year, we had Jordan Berry, we had Mr. (Ryan) Wright. It was a punting competition. This year, we have Greg Joseph and Jack Podlesny, and it’s a kicking competition. The goal is — we’re looking to compete at every single aspect, every single level of every single position. It is a kicking competition between those two,” Daniels said at the time.
Now, Podlesny heads to Green Bay in hopes of winning a kicking battle. Carlson, the incumbent in the Packers locker room, was actually selected by Green Bay in the sixth round of the 2023 NFL Draft, and he faced some struggles during his rookie season.
Carlson made 27 of his 33 field goals during the regular season, which is perfectly fine. However, he made just seven of his 14 attempts from 40+ yards, and he missed a total of five extra points. That total was the most in the entire NFL.
In 2022, Joseph had similar struggles with the Vikings. He missed six attempts from 50+ yards and led the NFL last season with six missed extra points. However, he proved the Vikings correct in 2023 by cleaning up many of these issues, hitting 36 of his 38 extra points and making four of his seven attempts from 50+ yards.
We’ll see if Carlson can go through a similar improvement to keep his job, or if the former Vikings kicker takes over the kicking duties in Green Bay.
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Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.