The best story from the Ravens first preseason game has already been traded away.
Kaare Vedvik, the Ravens back-up kicker and punter, was traded Sunday afternoon to the Minnesota Vikings.
“Really fired up for Kaare,” special teams coach Chris Horton said. “He was right where we needed him to be. Coach (Randy) Brown, myself, we did a great job getting him ready for this opportunity. He went out Thursday night and he had an awesome night. Really happy for Kaare, he deserves it after everything he’s been through. What an opportunity for him.”
Vedvik and the rest of the team found out about the trade at Sunday’s practice, as Vedvik said his goodbyes and left the facility.
“He was fired up, we were all fired up for him,” Horton said. “We all gave him big hugs, wished him the best.”
The move came as little surprise, as the Ravens have committed to kicker Justin Tucker (by way of a four-year deal this offseason) and have had Sam Koch, one of the league’s best punters, since 2006.
And after a 4-for-4 performance on field goals from 55, 45, 29 and 26 yards last Thursday, including punts that went 58 and 53 yards, Vedvik made himself one of the league’s most coveted specialists ahead of roster cut-downs.
Vedvik’s story was so unique, however, as he spent last season on the Non-Football Injury list after a brutal assault in Baltimore right before 53-man roster cut-down date. He was unable to remember the assault and no arrests have been made in the case.
But Vedvik recovered and was able to play himself onto another roster.
“He’s like every other position, if you have value, people are going to want you,” Horton said. “He came out, he executed, he did the things he was supposed to do. He upped his stock, he got better this offseason. Again, wish him the best.”
Vedvik will join a Vikings franchise that has seemingly been haunted by kickers. Currently, the Vikings have kicker Dan Bailey and punter Matt Wile on special teams, but Vedvik has shown an ability to do both punting and kicking, should the team ask.
Vedvik was the first kicker to be traded for more than a sixth-round pick since August of 1996, when Pete Stoyanovich was traded from the Dolphins to the Chiefs for a fifth-round pick.
As for the Ravens, they now have their own picks in the first through sixth rounds, in addition to Minnesota’s fifth. After trading for Ty Montgomery last season, they recouped a seventh-round pick from the Jets in the Alex Lewis trade in July.
Also, Baltimore is projected to have three compensatory picks (one in the third and fourth rounds, each) after the free-agent losses of C.J. Mosely, Za’Darius Smith and Terrell Suggs. Meaning, the team could enter the 2020 NFL Draft, as it stands now, with nearly 10 picks.
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