A day after cutting punter Kaare Vedvik, the Vikings made another change at the position Sunday.
The team signed former Browns punter Britton Colquitt, who was released by Cleveland on Saturday, and released punter Matt Wile, whose work as a holder on extra points and field goals had raised enough concerns that the Vikings were still looking elsewhere for help even after they released Vedvik — whom they’d acquired in an Aug. 11 trade with the Ravens — in final cuts on Saturday.
The Vikings had hoped to get Vedvik onto their practice squad before the Jets claimed him off waivers. Instead, they added former Bills kicker Chase McLaughlin — who hit a 54-yard field goal against them in Thursday’s preseason finale — to the practice squad.
Colquitt, 34, spent the past three years in Cleveland and punted for six years in Denver, where he won a Super Bowl with the Broncos in 2015. That team was coached by Gary Kubiak, the Vikings’ new assistant head coach. Sources said Colquitt was on his way.
His 45.4-yard average ranked 12th in the NFL last season, though Colquitt was 30th in the league with a 38.2-yard net average and had two blocked.
Former Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, who is now with the Browns, helped make the decision to pick 22-year-old punter Jamie Gillian, known as “the Scottish Hammer,” over Colquitt. Colquitt could become the team’s new holder for field goals, where the team had concerns with Wile and has been using wide receiver Chad Beebe in the preseason.
Panthers get Zylstra
While the Vikings weren’t awarded any players off waivers on Sunday, they lost two they had thought about adding to their practice squad, when the Jets claimed Vedvik and the Panthers added wide receiver Brandon Zylstra.
The Vikings, who kept just four receivers on their active roster, had designs on adding Zylstra to the practice squad and stashing him there until a spot opened up on their roster (potentially with the return of Mike Hughes making a cornerback expendable). Instead of staying in Minnesota, however, the New London-Spicer product will go to Carolina to play for former Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner.
Vedvik — whom the Vikings acquired from Baltimore for a fifth-round pick on Aug. 11 — might have wound up on the team’s practice squad after being released Saturday, but the Jets (who had interest in trading for Vedvik when the Vikings acquired him) were instead able to add him to their active roster without surrendering a draft pick to get him.
Quarterback Kyle Sloter, waived by the Vikings despite an impressive preseason, tweeted that he was joining the Arizona Cardinals.
Nine spots filled
In addition to signing McLaughlin, the Vikings filled eight of their nine remaining practice squad spots on Sunday, bringing back the only two 2019 draft picks they’d released and retaining six more of the players they released on Saturday.
The team announced it signed fifth-round pick Cameron Smith and seventh-rounder Dillon Mitchell to its practice squad, also adding quarterback Jake Browning, fullback Khari Blasingame, tackle Aviante Collins, linebacker Devante Downs, defensive end Stacy Keely and cornerback Nate Meadors.
McLaughlin signed with the Bills as an undrafted free agent this spring after claiming all-Big Ten honors during his final year at Illinois. He holds the Illinois school record with five field goals of 50 yards or more.