The Seattle Seahawks signed kicker Blair Walsh on Thursday, meaning that there’s a good chance Steve Hauschka will not be returning next season. Walsh’s most famous kick came against the Seahawks when he shanked a 27-yard field goal against them in the wild card round a year ago while playing for the Minnesota Vikings.
A sixth-round pick of the Vikings in 2012 out of Georgia, Walsh earned a Pro Bowl nod and was named first-team All-Pro during his rookie season, when he went 35-of-38 on field goals (92.1 percent), made all 36 of his extra points, and established an NFL record by going 10-for-10 on attempts of 50 yards or more.
In 2015, Walsh led the League in made field goals with 34, but in 2016 the Vikings released Walsh after nine games. Walsh went 12-of-16 on field goals and 15-of-19 on extra points during his final season in Minnesota.
Hauschka is scheduled to be a free agent. After having had six extra point attempts missed or blocked, it appears that the team felt they were overdue to give someone else a try. He’s been with the team since 2011 and has usually been well above-average but kicker performance often varies wildly from year-to-year. That’s clearly what Seattle is hoping with Blair, but in the opposite direction.