View the best photos from the Vikings team photographers of special teams in 2019.
With the NFL Scouting Combine in the rearview mirror, 2020 free agency is just around the corner. That period will officially begin at 3 p.m. (CT) on March 18 when the new league year begins.
Over the next two weeks, Lindsey Young, Craig Peters and I will dive into Minnesota's current roster status by position. We'll offer a refresher on which Vikings are scheduled to become free agents, where potential needs might be and note players from other teams that are set to become free agents.
We'll finish up this series with a look at the specialists.
2019 Stats: 16 games; 135 total snaps (29 on field goals, 44 on extra points and 62 on punts)
Cutting performed well in his rookie season as the Vikings long snapper. A seventh-round pick out of the Air Force Academy a year ago, Cutting won the job in training camp over the incumbent Kevin McDermott. Cutting earned praise from teammates and coaches alike for how he handled his first season in the league.
SCHEDULED TO BECOME FREE AGENTS:
Bailey might have been the league's hottest kicker at the end of 2019, as he made his final 22 field goal attempts in the second half of the season and the playoffs.
Bailey made 27 of 29 field goals (93.1 percent) and 40 of 44 extra points (90.9 percent) in the regular season. He also had 66 touchbacks on 87 kickoffs (75.9 percent). Bailey earned NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors three separate times in 2019.
The veteran joined the Vikings for the final 14 games of the 2018 season before playing the full slate in 2019 in Purple. In his nearly two full seasons with Minnesota, Bailey has made 48 of 57 field goals (84.2 percent).
Colquitt wasn't with the Vikings in training camp, as he was added to the 53-man roster in early September after being released by the Browns. But Colquitt had one of the top seasons for a punter in franchise history, setting a Vikings single-season record for net average at 42.6.
Colquitt had a gross average of 45.2 yards on 59 punts with no touchbacks, and also one kickoff for 63 yards (after a safety).
Besides his punting prowess, Colquitt was integral to the Vikings kicking operation as he bridged the gap between Cutting and Bailey.
Few areas have had as much turnover in recent years than the Vikings specialists. Minnesota, at one point, had five specialists in training camp in 2019.
But the trio of Bailey, Colquitt and Cutting combined to be one of the league's best on field goals and extra points, while the snapper and punter also worked well on the punting unit.
Bailey, Colquitt and Cutting each raved about how the operation worked in 2019, and they expressed hope that the unit gets back together in 2020 and beyond. But if either Bailey or Colquitt do not return in 2020, the Vikings special teams operation will have a different look going forward.
WHO'S POTENTIALLY OUT THERE:
NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal and Chris Wesseling teamed up again this year to rate their top 101 potential free agents.
Only one specialist made the list: 85. Greg Zuerlein.
Other specialists set to become free agents that didn't crack the top 101 are as follows (listed in order of 2019 team): K Zane Gonzalez* (AZ), LS Patrick Scales (CHI), LS L.P. Ladouceur and K Kai Forbath (DAL), LS Casey Kreiter (DEN), LS Don Muhlbach and P Sam Martin (DET), K Ka'imi Fairbairn (HOU), K Adam Vinatieri and K Chase McLaughlin(IND), K Daniel Carlson and LS Trent Sieg (OAK), P Matt Haack* (MIA), K Nick Folk (NE), K Aldrick Rosas and LS Zak DeOssie (NYG), K Sam Fickenand P Lachlan Edwards (NYJ), P Cameron Johnston (PHI), LS Kameron Canaday* (PIT).
* Restricted free agent
** Exclusive rights free agent
There are plenty of recognizable names here, as Forbath, McLaughlin and Carlson have all been with the Vikings in the past few years, whether on the roster or the practice squad. Muhlbach and Martin are familiar foes from NFC North battles against the Lions. Scales has snapped in seven games against the Vikings since 2015.
Vinatieri is the most legendary name on this list, as he is the NFL's all-time points leader with 2,673 and is also first in league history with 599 career field goals. He battled injuries and inconsistencies in 2019, playing in just 12 games.
Zuerlein is known for his long range. Zuerlein has 33 career field goals of 50-plus yards.