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NFL Free Agency: Ryan Longwell Agrees To Return To Minnesota Vikings

If the two contracts that Ryan Longwell has signed with the Minnesota Vikings are any indicator, one thing is for sure. . .the veteran kicker is getting better with age.

Longwell and the Vikings have agreed to terms on a four-year contract worth $12 million, with $3.5 million of that guaranteed. That means he's making more per year in his second contract with the Vikings than he did in his first deal, a 5-year, $10 million deal he signed with the team in 2006.

Since joining the Vikings, Longwell has converted 113 of 129 field goal attempts, an 87.6% clip, which places him among the most accurate kickers in the National Football League over that time. Last season, he made 17 out of 18 attempts.

It was thought that the Vikings might attempt to replace Longwell this season, but with the new kickoff rules that will spot the ball at the 35 rather than the 30-yard line should cancel out some of Longwell's shorter kickoffs. Longwell's accuracy, however, would be hard to replace, so the Vikings obviously felt it in their best interests to bring him back into the fold.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.