The Vikings signed Rhys Lloyd this offseason -- and guaranteed him $200,000 -- with the idea that he would be their kickoff specialist this season.
Ultimately, the Vikings felt they couldn’t devote a roster spot for a second kicker. Lloyd, the former Gopher, was placed on waivers as the Vikings trimmed their roster to 53 on Saturday. Lloyd said team officials indicated they possibly could re-sign him if he clears waivers, but that seems unlikely.
“I felt like they were sincere in telling me they want me back,” Lloyd said. “They kind of told me to stick around because they were going to try and get me back here pretty soon.”
The decision to waive Lloyd wasn’t that surprising considering the Vikings have pressing needs at other positions because of injuries and his own performance in the preseason. Lloyd did not record a touchback in his first 10 kickoffs and apologized on twitter after struggling against Seattle in the third game. He finished with a strong showing against Denver by putting five of six kickoffs in the end zone with two touchbacks.
“I think it is one of those things where I went out there really just to prove to myself that I corrected things in a week,” he said. “Obviously the Seattle game I didn’t perform great. I just wanted to make it right by doing it [against Denver] and putting my stamp on what I can do.”
Lloyd acknowledged, however, that being a kickoff specialist will always bring uncertainty. Teams have a hard time justifying using that extra roster spot when making their final cuts.
“For example, Minnesota right now with the problems they’re having as far as getting their roster sorted out with the injuries and trying to make up the numbers,” he said. “I’m always going to be one of the first guys on the list just purely because unfortunately right now they don’t have the luxury of having a spot for me. It’s one of those things where every year I’m kind of on that chopping block so to speak, regardless of whether I perform well or not. It’s always going to be a question mark until the first practice.”
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