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Blair Walsh signs four-year extension with Vikings

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The Minnesota Vikings have locked up Blair Walsh.

The team announced Sunday it has signed the place kicker to a contract extension. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports it's a four-year extension worth up to $14 million with $5.25 million guaranteed, according to a source informed of the situation. The deal makes Walsh one of the five-highest paid kickers in the game.

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The deal comes one week after the Patriots made Stephen Gostkowski the highest paid kicker in the NFL. Gostkowski received a four-year deal worth $17.2 million, including a $6 million signing bonus.

"Blair has been a vital part of our special teams success since we drafted him and we felt it was very important to secure his future with our organization," Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said in a statement. "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."

Walsh earned first-team All-Pro honors as a rookie, when he set an NFL record with 10 consecutive field goals of at least 50 yards. His accuracy dipped last season, when he converted just 26 of 35 attempts, a league-low conversion rate of 74.3.

Despite that, the Vikings are showing faith in their 25-year-old former sixth-round pick.

In other news, the Vikings moved linebacker Casey Matthews to season-ending injured reserve on Sunday due to a hip injury. Matthews suffered the injury while going over a hurdle during an offseason workout.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast features the triumphant return of Dan Hanzus and discusses the biggest mysteries heading into training camp.

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