Loeffler is the longest-tenured Viking, having played 11 seasons and 171 games as their long snapper. Given the organization’s move toward younger players at the expense of those over the age of 30, Loeffler, who turned 34 in January, wasn’t sure what his future was going to hold.
“It’s a business, so you never know what’s going to happen,” Loeffler said. “But we had been talking with the organization for the last couple of weeks about getting a deal done and we were confident that it would happen because of those discussions.”
Since joining the Vikings in 2004, Loeffler has been as accurate as any long snapper in the game. Despite seeing kickers and holders come and go over the years, Loeffler has been the one constant. At a position that doesn’t allow for mistakes, his only bad snap of 2014 came in Week 16 at Miami – a one-hop snap that led to a blocked punt and a safety that turned out to be the game-winning points for the Dolphins in a 37-35 Miami win.
“You have to be perfect in my job,” Loeffler said. “There isn’t any tolerance for mistakes. That was the first bad snap I had in some time and it couldn’t have come at a worse time. Those are the kinds of mistakes that you can’t make as a long snapper and that one hurt – both for the team and for me personally.”
At the end of the season, Loeffler hoped that one mistake wouldn’t resonate in the memories of the coaches and the front office people making free agent decisions. In the end, it didn’t and he will be returning for a 12th season.
Coming back for another year is something Loeffler was hoping for because, while there may have been a decent market for him once free agency began, Minnesota has become a second home for Loeffler and his family. While he still makes a home in Texas, he and his family split time between there and his home in Eden Prairie and he wasn’t looking forward to the potential prospect of pulling up roots for his family and moving to a new city.
“Being able to stay in Minnesota has always been a priority for me,” Loeffler said. “My wife and I have raised our kids in Minnesota. They go to school here during the football season, they have a lot of friends here and they’ve learned to love being here as much as my wife and I have. Being a Viking is something that I’ve taken a lot of pride in. I was hoping to finish my career here and I’m just glad things are working out so that can happen. I’ve loved being able to help our younger players like Blair (Walsh) and Jeff (Locke) make the transition to the NFL and I look forward to working with them more as we move forward and helping make sure that special teams is a strength of our team.”
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