The Minnesota Vikings made the choice to move on from Jeff Locke, who had been the team’s punter the previous four seasons. Locke showed improvement after struggling his first three seasons. He signed with the Indianapolis Colts.
On Monday, the Vikings signed Ryan Quigley, who spent six games with the Arizona Cardinals last season.
Former North Myrtle Beach High punter Ryan Quigley has just signed a two-year deal with @Vikings according to Ryan's dad Joe Quigley
— Mark Haggard (@allzoner) April 3, 2017
The former Boston College Eagle was signed by the Chicago Bears after being undrafted. He did not make the 53-man roster and did not suit up for any team that season.
He then spent time with the New York Jets from 2013-2015. He was with the Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars during the offseason last year before signing with the Cardinals.
The Cardinals released him on November 15.
In 51 career games he has averaged 44.6 yards per punt with a net average of 39.6. Last season he had a career low of 41.6 yards per punt (37th out of 39 punters). His net average of 37.2 was 35th in the league.
In comparison, Locke has averaged 43.2 yards per punt and a net average of 39.8 in 64 career games. Last season he was 33rd with 42.6 yards per punt. His net average of 39.0 was 27th in the league.
Quigley will compete with Taylor Symmank, who was with the Vikings during rookie minicamp but did not make the team.
Having a good punter can be very underrated, especially when a team has a good defense like the Vikings.
The Vikings have not had a Pro Bowl punter since 1999 (Mitch Berger). Whether the punter will be Quigley or Symmank, or someone else, neither has to be a Pro Bowler, but even averaging 45.9 yards a punt (Quigley) would be good enough. The defense will certainly appreciate the improvements too.
Good news though is that the Vikings should not have to punt as much this season given that the offense should be better. How much better will be very interesting to find out.