The Minnesota Vikings announced that they have signed kicker Blair Walsh to a contract extension. Although they did not disclose the terms of the new deal, Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports reported that it's a four-year, $14 million extension, making Walsh one of the top five highest-paid kickers in the NFL. Stephen Gostowski became the top-paid kicker when he signed a $17.2 million extension with the Patriots earlier this month.
Walsh, who was selected in the sixth round of 2012 NFL Draft, was set to play on the final year of his rookie contract. Now he'll be with the Vikings through 2019.
"I'm extremely excited to be a part of the Minnesota Vikings moving forward. I'd like to thank Rick Spielman, the Wilf family, Coach Zimmer, Coach Priefer and Rob Brzezinski for giving me this opportunity," Walsh said in a statement. "I'm proud to be able to stay with the team that drafted me coming out of college and I look forward to what is in store for the future of this organization."
Walsh made the Pro Bowl and was named a first-team All-Pro as a rookie. That year, he set an NFL record when he made 10 consecutive field goals of 50 yards in a season. Although he's coming off his worst season, in which he connected on just 74.3 percent of his field goals, the Vikings decided Walsh was an important part of their future.
"His consistency on kickoffs and on long range field goals can help change the game for our team and we're excited for his future here in Minnesota," Vikings GM Rick Spielman said. "This extension stays true to our philosophy of drafting young talent, developing them in our system and rewarding their success."
In 48 career games, Walsh has made 87 of 103 field goals, good for 84.5 percent.