Dan Bailey once jogged on an embankment behind a set of uprights on the Vikings' practice field, chasing footballs off Kaare Vedvik's foot during an August training camp practice.

Bailey not only outlasted the 25-year-old Vedvik to keep his job, but he enjoyed a rebound season that stabilized the Vikings' field-goal operation with its best clearance rate (93.1%) since 2010. With veteran punter Britton Colquitt as his holder, Bailey and Colquitt gave the Vikings front office reasons to recommit after years of turnover at kicker and punter.

"Me, Austin [Cutting] and Dan meshed really well," Colquitt said. "Clearly, he got a nice $1 million bonus, so I'm waiting for my caddie fee on that one. Would love to see us work something out, and be here to help the Vikings go to the next level."

But outside of the kicking game, Vikings special teams were average at best under first-year coordinator Marwan Maalouf.