MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings have made a decision on their long-snapper, and it will result in them cutting their longest-tenured player.
The Vikings announced on Monday morning they have released Cullen Loeffler, who has been the team's long-snapper since 2004. The Vikings gave Loeffler a one-year deal before the start of free agency, but also brought in Kevin McDermott to compete with him. Loeffler had a disappointing 2014 season, and has misfired on a couple snaps during the preseason to this point. The 25-year-old McDermott, who signed a two-year deal with the Vikings in April, will be the team's long-snapper going forward.
"These types of decisions are the hardest part of our jobs. Cullen was outstanding in the community and on the field for the Vikings. He handled his business with class and his impact in the locker room and on the franchise were second to none. We wish him the best in the future," said Vikings general manager Rick Spielman.
Loeffler is one of the more interesting characters in the Vikings' locker room; he lists metallurgy among his interests off the field, is the son of former congressman Tom Loeffler and bought into an ice-sculpting business in his time with the Vikings. He was popular with teammates for his dry sense of humor, which routinely included him sprinting off the field after practice, calling to reporters, "Sorry guys -- really busy today," as he ran past.
But NFL training camp battles are often won by the younger player, and the Vikings made the decision to stick with McDermott, who played with punter Jeff Locke at UCLA. They'll move forward with him, as Loeffler looks to extend his NFL career with another team.