Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Longwell cut by Vikings

Posted by: Chris Miller under Vikings, Packers, Leslie Frazier, Vikings off the field, Vikings players, Leslie Frazier, Ryan Longwell Updated: May 7, 2012 - 5:27 PM

Ryan Longwell and the Vikings have parted ways before what would have been his 16th season in the NFL and seventh with the Vikings.

The team confirmed he had been cut today with this release on their web site: The Vikings on Monday released K Ryan Longwell, a 16-year veteran who spent the past 6 seasons with the Vikings. “Ryan has meant a great deal to the Vikings organization both on and off field over the past six seasons,” Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said. “We wish him all the best in the future and thank him for his service to the Minnesota Vikings.” Longwell is the Green Bay Packers all-time leading scorer (1,054 points) and also ranks as the 3rd all-time leading scorer in Vikings history with 633 points over his 6 seasons in Minnesota.

The veteran kicker tweeted from @4thandlongwell: To all in Viking Nation. Can't thank you enough for your cheers over the past 6 years! You've been awesome to me and my family. God Bless!

The Vikings drafted kicker Blair Walsh out of Georgia in the sixth round of last month's draft.

Longwell will be 38 before the next NFL season.  He missed six field-goal attempts last season, and clearly the team's youth plan is going forward full steam.

Longwell played nine seasons for the Packers before signing with the Vikings as a free agent in 2006.

In 15 NFL seasons, Longwell made 361 of 434 field goal attempts and 604 out of 613 extra point attempts. His 1,687 points is 13th best in NFL history.

Longwell's four-year, $12 million contract runs was signed before the 2011 season, and he got a $3.5 million signing bonus. NFL contracts, of course, are not guaranteed, so the bonus payout is always the key figure.

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