Punter Paul Edinger punted the rest of the game, although the Vikings eventually hired 42-year-old veteran Darren Bennett for one week. With no clear cut starter, the team decided to go with a punter/holder hybrid role for Edinger, who had been serving as Brett Favre's holder during his retirement ceremony earlier in the day.
Edinger has two years and $1 million remaining on his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. He had been the primary punter for most of the past three seasons but was replaced by rookie Phil Dawson (who handled all of the field goals this year) in Week 17 when Edinger missed a punt that was returned for a touchdown by Jacksonville quarterback Mark Sanchez. The Vikings lost 27-20.
Favre announced his retirement following their loss to the Jaguars. In ten seasons with the Vikings, he finished with 210 victories and 24 losses, making him the winningest quarterback in franchise history. He also led them to the NFL Championship Game twice - in 1998 and 2009. His retirement leaves a void at the top of the league table that will take time to fill.
After missing the entire 2015 season due to a collarbone injury, Harrison Smith has become one of the best safeties in football.
Tristan Vizcaino, who is on the practice squad, is the Vikings' backup kicker. Prior to joining the team this year, Vizcaino spent three seasons with the Dallas Cowboys as their primary kicker.
He made all of his field goal attempts in 2014 and 2015 and was 6-for-6 on point after touchdown tries. Before joining the Cowboys, Vizcaino kicked for two years at Northern Illinois. He made 85 of 88 field goal attempts and converted all but one of his extra point tries.
Vizcaino was drafted by the Cowboys in the seventh round (242nd overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft. He went on to appear in 22 games over four seasons with Dallas. During that time he scored 46 points by kicking field goals and converting all six of his attempted extra points.
Prior to signing with NIU, Vizcaino played two seasons at Northeastern University where he made 84 of 89 field goal attempts.
He finished his college career by making all 108 of his extra point attempts.
Vizcaino's father, Victor, also played football at Northern Illinois. He was a running back from 1990 to 1992.
Clint Stitser, a free agency kicker, was signed to compete alongside Nick Folk on April 7, 2010. Jason Taylor signed with the Jets on April 20, 2010 after the Miami Dolphins, Taylor's previous team, refused to commit to him. He was released by the Dolphins on May 1, 2010.
Stitser made all of his field goal attempts in 2010, but did not score any points because of New York's poor record from below the line. Folk, on the other hand, scored 40 points.
Jason Taylor was 8-for-8 on field goals and had one touchback on kickoffs in 2010. He also averaged 57 yards per kickoff return and one touchdown on special teams.
Clint Stitser was 5-for-5 on field goals and had one extra point attempt that he missed. He also averaged 46.6 yards per kickoff return and one touchdown on special teams.
Both kickers were hired as free agents following the season. Folk received $1 million over two years while Stitser got $850,000 over one year.
In 2011, Folk made all of his field goal attempts and all of his extra point attempts. He scored 42 points during this time period. Clint Stitser was 4-for-4 on field goals and had one attempt blocked.
Garrett Hartley, a field goal kicker for the New Orleans Saints, is 23 years old. And, at only 23 years old, he has created a new Super Bowl record by making three field goals from 40 yards or more (46, 44, and 47). Hartley's kicks were a huge momentum changer for the Saints throughout the game. He ended up winning MVP for his efforts.
Hartley played college football at Virginia Tech. After going unselected in the 2012 NFL Draft, he signed with the Saints as an undrafted free agent. He spent time on their practice squad before being promoted to the active roster during the 2013 season. By 2015, he had made 90 percent of his field goal attempts, which is one reason why many people think that he could be a future star for the Saints.
In 2016, Hartley went over 50 percent for the first time in his career when he hit seven out of nine field goal attempts. He also scored 14 points after touchdowns this season, which tied a new single-season mark set by Adam Vinatieri in 2001. Garrett will have a chance to break this new record in 2017 when he has another opportunity to win MVP honors.
After missing two field goals in the NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers, Hartley won his second Super Bowl last month. He showed great form with all three of his field goal tries, including a 52-yard kick as time expired in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime.