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Is Ryan Longwell On Notice?
(4/30 7:47 PT)

The Facts:
Decisions in the sixth round don't usually have much immediate impact on prominent veterans, but this one is worth noting: The Vikings drafted PK Blair Walsh with the fifth pick of the round and No. 175 overall. Traditionally, teams don't draft kicker unless they're ready to make a change or at least seriously consider an alternative to the incumbent. Longwell received a $3.5 million signing bonus last summer, suggesting the Vikings were committed to him for several years, but Longwell missed more field goals -- six -- than he did in the previous two seasons combined. He'll turn 38 in August. Reported by

Fantasy Football Diehards Line:
As's Kevin Seifert suggested, it makes sense to begin a succession plan for an aging veteran, but most teams don't keep a backup place-kicker and kickoff specialists are less valuable than ever given changes to kickoff rules. In other words, this would appear to be a wasted pick -- unless you're at least considering a change. So, as Seifert summed up: "No matter how the Vikings might spin this move, you would think that Longwell is on notice for 2012."


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