EAGAN, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings have had four punters in the past four seasons, so it’s understandable they want some stability at that position. And it looks now as if that will happen.
Cheap Britton Colquitt Jersey, an impending free agent who had a strong 2019 season, anticipates committing to re-sign with the Vikings before other teams can make offers on Monday.
“We, my agent and my family, we believe in the Vikings,” Colquitt said in a phone interview. “They’ve made it clear, we believe, they want to make a deal before free agency.”
Colquitt said his agent, Paul Sheehy, has proposed a three-year contract, with two years guaranteed, and the Vikings are on board with the proposal. Sheehy wrote in an email Wednesday that nothing has been finalized. Colquitt and Sheehy did not provide any figures, but the proposed deal is believed to average between $2 million and $3 million per season.
“My agent came up with a deal that is not outlandish and crazy, but it also puts me in a category of what we feel like I’ve earned,” said Colquitt, 34, a 10-year veteran. “(The Vikings) haven’t given us an offer. They’ve just accepted the proposal and said, ‘You know, we think that’s a fair deal. We just have to figure out where we can make some space.’ ”
The Vikings have little salary-cap room, so they might need to create some to lock up Colquitt by Monday, when NFL teams can begin negotiating with representatives of free agents. Free agents can sign deals with other teams starting Wednesday.
Colquitt is eligible now to re-sign. He said the Vikings want to hold off on a move until they see how voting goes for a possible new collective bargaining agreement. Voting by players concludes Saturday, and a new CBA would affect the salary cap for 2020.
“Most organizations would agree they don’t want to have to worry about the punter and holder position, so if I’m bringing that stability, let’s do it,” said Colquitt, also the holder for kicker Dan Bailey. “I think we’re all on the same page and we want it to happen. If there wasn’t this tight cap, I think (re-signing) already would have been done.”
Sheehy wrote in an email that negotiations are ongoing.
“While there is clearly a mutual interest in getting a deal done, nothing has been agreed to by either side,” he wrote. “We’ve had very positive discussions and the hope is it might lead to a contract, but it is certainly premature to say anything at all has been agreed upon.”
Before Colquitt became the Vikings’ punter in 2019, the team had three in three seasons: Jeff Locke in 2016, Ryan Quigley in 2017 and Matt Wile in 2018. Colquitt has been by far the best of the lot.
Colquitt averaged 45.2 yards gross and 42.6 net per punt, and was rated the NFL’s third-best punter by Pro Football Focus. He played for the minimum salary of $930,000 after being cut at the end of the preseason by the Cleveland Browns.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was critical of Wile as a holder in 2018, when Bailey made 21 of 28 field-goal attempts. With Colquitt holding, Bailey made 27 of 29 attempts last season.
“He kind of helped turn the career around for Bailey, the placekicker,” said Colquitt’s father, Craig, a punter for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1978-84. “And I think he contributed well as a punter.”
The Colquitts dub themselves “The First Family of Fourth Down.” Craig won Super Bowls with the Steelers in 1978 and 1979 and Britton claimed one with Denver in 2015. The family added a fourth ring last month when Britton’s brother, punter Dustin Colquitt, won a Super Bowl with Kansas City.
“It’s kind of beyond your wildest dreams,” Britton said of the family’s rings. “We really wanted it for Dustin. Our dad can’t quit talking about it.”
Britton was among 15 family members who attended the Chiefs’ 31-20 victory over San Francisco in Super Bowl LIV in Miami. Three weeks earlier, the Vikings lost 27-10 to the 49ers in a divisional playoff.
“I was doing the tomahawk chop, and I was like the biggest Chiefs fan you’ve ever seen,” Britton said. “I was getting into it with San Francisco fans. Nothing bad. Just standard bantering back and forth. … When (the Chiefs) got a first down, I was going down a few rows and giving the first-down symbol. And (wife) Nikki is like, ‘You’ve got to chill out. You’re going to get in a fight with one of those 49ers fans.’ ”
No skirmishes took place. And now Dustin won’t receive any more family ribbing about not having a ring.
“It means he can relax,” Craig said with a laugh. “I hear his ring’s going to be even bigger than Britton’s. But they’ve still got to get another one (to catch me). How cool would that be if they have a repeat in Kansas City or have that happen in Minnesota?”
Britton hopes to get a ring with the Vikings. Britton, who has four children, said the family already is thinking it could be his final NFL stop.
“We’d love to stay in Minnesota and make it our home for a little while and maybe even ride out in a purple-and-gold sunset,” he said.