According to Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune, kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd and the Vikings agreed to a 2-year contract Monday night.
After passing on making a visit with the New York Giants on Tuesday, the former Gopher and Apple Valley, MN native became the first free-agent signed by the Vikings this offseason. The Panthers did not tender him an offer as a restricted free agent (RFA), allowing him to test the market.
The 4-year veteran spent his rookie season with the Baltimore Ravens and the past 3 seasons with the Carolina Panthers. Lloyd played in all 32 of the Panthers regular season games over the past 2 seasons compiling a total of 51 touchbacks in 160 kickoffs. It is assumed that the Vikings will rely on Lloyd to handle kickoffs with 14-year veteran Ryan Longwell specializing in field goals and extra points.
Lloyd’s agent, Frank Murtha, expressed the kicker’s excitement about the organization while acknowledging his new role as the Vikings’ kickoff specialist.
“The organization made it clear that they were committed to carrying a kickoff specialist,” Murtha told Zulgad. “I think that was made clear to Rhys and to me. Coach Childress and his staff and the organization were committed to that. They wanted to have the advantage that they had seen around the league either with the teams that have carried an extra guy or those that have someone in the organization whose kickoffs were beyond the norm. Rhys is capable of putting the ball in the end zone all of the time.”
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