Riders want to groom Global punter Kaare Vedvik as heir apparent to Jon Ryan

Photo courtesy: Minnesota Vikings and Hannah Souster

The Saskatchewan Roughriders went into the 2021 Global Draft with a punter plan.

According to Sportsnet reporter Arash Madani, the Riders wanted to selected at least one specialist on Thursday, April 15. General manager Jeremy O’Day chose Kaare Vedvik in the second round, 14th overall. 

“What I have been told is that the Riders have told Jon Ryan we’re going to have ourselves a punter from this Global project. What they have communicated with Jon Ryan is that it’s not going to be for the 2021 season, but that basically you are grooming your heir apparent,” Madani said on 620 CKRM’s The SportsCage.

The 39-year-old Ryan punted 107 times for 3,783 yards — 48.8-yard average — with a long of 77 yards while playing all 18 regular season games for Saskatchewan in 2019. He was named a West Division all-star for his efforts. It was his first season with his hometown team after a long run in the NFL.

The six-foot-three, 210-pound Vedvik signed as an undrafted NFL free agent with the Baltimore Ravens in 2018. He also spent time with the Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, and Washington Football Team. 

During the 2018 pre-season, Vedvik punted 19 times for a 46.7-yard gross average and a 40-yard net average, seven landed inside the 20-yard line.

Vedvik spent five NCAA seasons at Marshall University. As a senior in 2017 he punted 59 times for 2,597 yards with a 44.0-yard gross average while being named to the Conference USA first-team. Vedvik made national headlines for a 92-yard punt against Old Dominion which is the seventh-longest in FBS history.

“What I’ve been told is the Riders have told Jon Ryan that, ‘Look, a punter is in our plans, you remain in our plans.’ Whether or not Jon Ryan actually remains in the plans, may be a different story,” Madani said.

“I’ve received a number of assurances from a number of different people. That’s the latest on the Riders front.”

Ryan is scheduled to earn $88,500 in 2021 with the potential for $11,000 more in performance and all-star incentives. Global players, including Vedvik, have their salaries capped at $54,000 in the current collective bargaining agreement.

In the NFL, Ryan made north of $14.5 million USD while Vedvik has earned over $600,000.