Vedvik had been coveted by teams looking for a placekicker, and that interest intensified after he made all four of his field goal attempts during Thursday night’s preseason opener, including a 55-yarder.
The Ravens have the NFL’s all-time most accurate field goal kicker in Justin Tucker, and one of the league’s best punters in Sam Koch, so there was no room for Vedvik on Baltimore’s roster. However, Vedvik has shown impressive leg strength as both a kicker and punter since being signed last year as an undrafted free agent.
Vedvik likely would have been traded last year, but he suffered serious head and facial injuries when he was brutally assaulted and left in East Baltimore, forcing him to miss last season. Thursday night’s performance let teams know that Vedvik was fully recovered, and during Sunday’s practice he was informed of the trade. Vedvik left practice early, headed for his new opportunity.
“My reaction to that is I’m really fired up for Kaare,” Ravens Special Teams Coach Chris Horton said. “Like I told you guys before, Kaare was right on schedule. He went out on Thursday night and he had an awesome night. So, really happy for Kaare. He deserves it after everything he’s been through. What an opportunity for him.
“We were actually on the field working out and guys came up and told him what happened, and he was fired up, we were fired up for him. We all gave him big hugs and wished him the best.”
In Minnesota, Vedvik will have an opportunity to become the team’s No. 1 kicker, following in the footsteps of previous kickers who have been groomed in Baltimore like Wil Lutz of the New Orleans Saints, Graham Gano of the Carolina Panthers, and Steven Hauschka of the Buffalo Bills.
Vedvik averaged 55.5 yards on two punts Thursday night and the Vikings may ask Vedvik to punt and placekick. Horton was asked if thought Vedvik could handle dual roles.
“Did you watch the game on Thursday night?” Horton said. “So, then you can answer that question, right? He’s prepared himself, he’s a rare guy and he’s really good.”