the study of all things kicker related

Friday, April 19, 2013

NFL Kickers 2013 - Signings

Roundup/Recap: so far the NFL off-season has seen eights kickers signed.

Steven Hauschka, Seattle Seahawks
"Kicker Steven Hauschka, who became an unrestricted free agent last month, has re-signed with the Seahawks, the team announced today. In two seasons with the team, Hauschka has scored 227 points by converting 49 of 57 field goals (86 percent) and 80 of 82 PATs. Last season, he was perfect on 23 field-goal attempts from 49 yards or closer and also had a 52-yarder. Two of his three misses came from 61 and 51 yards, while a 50-yarder was blocked. Hauschka, 27, joined the team in 2011, when he was claimed after being waived by the Broncos on their final roster cut – and kicking a 51-yard field in Denver’s 23-20 preseason victory over the Seahawks. Last season, Hauschka ran his streak of consecutive games with at least one field goal to a franchise record 14 before not attempting one in the Week 3 upset of the Packers. Hauschka was placed on injured reserve in January after injuring a calf muscle in the wild-card playoff victory over the Redskins, so he did not participate in the divisional-round loss to the Falcons the following week."
Austin Signor, Chicago Bears
"The team announced Friday they have signed kicker Austin Signor, who was in minicamp on a tryout basis, to a three-year deal. Signor, an undrafted free-agent rookie, played at Iowa (2006-07) and Eastern Illinois (2008-09). He earned first team All-OVC honors as a senior in 2009, leading Eastern Illinois with 76 points, connecting on 14-of-22 field goal attempts and all 34 extra points. Signor has spent brief time in the offseason with NFL teams before. He has been in minicamp with the New York Giants and Oakland Raiders and has had tryouts with the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets. Veteran kicker Robbie Gould is in the final year of a six-year contract with a $2.925 million cap hit. He's set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2014. Gould didn't participate in the Bears' voluntary minicamp this week because of a calf injury suffered last season during pre-game warmups in Minnesota on Dec. 9. The Bears signed veteran Olindo Mare to take Gould's place after he was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 12."
Chris Koepplin, Buffalo Bills
"Signed by Buffalo on April 18, 2013 ... Koepplin was signed to the roster of the New England Patriots in July of 2011 as a free agent. He was released before the regular season and re-joined the team in April of 2012. The 6-3, 210-pound University of Massachusetts product became the school’s record holder in PAT percentage (98.0) and finished second in field goal accuracy (71.0) in his two years (2006-07) with the program after transferring from Nassau Community College. He played two years for the Manchester Wolves of the Arena Football 2 League (2008-09)."
Shayne Graham, Cleveland Browns
"the Browns have added a well-traveled veteran in hopes of finding Phil Dawson's replacement. Shayne Graham, a 35-year-old familiar with the challenges of kicking in the blustery environs of Cleveland and Pittsburgh, agreed to a one-year deal worth $940,000. The deal is the 2013 minimum for a player with his experience. Graham, who spent seven of his 12 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, will compete against Brandon Bogotay, 23, a former University of Georgia kickoff specialist. They have the unenviable task of stepping into the void left by Dawson, a fan favorite who earned Pro Bowl honors last season before signing a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers. Dawson was the last player remaining from the Browns' 1999 expansion team. Graham is the NFL's fifth most accurate kicker all time, converting 85.4 percent of his field-goal tries. But since his seven-season run in Cincinnati (2003-09) – which included a 2005 Pro Bowl appearance -- he has worn the jerseys of five other NFL teams. He spent last season with the Houston Texans, making 31-of-38 attempts and setting a career high with 28 touchbacks. His 138 points established a new Texans mark and were fifth most in the league."
Havard Rugland
Detroit Lions
"The Detroit Lions have added a second place kicker to the roster in the wake of Jason Hanson's retirement, signing internet sensation Havard Rugland. Rugland, who is from Norway, goes by the nickname Kickalicious. A YouTube video showing him doing a series of impressive trick kicks has generated nearly 3 million views. Rugland has worked out for a number of teams this offseason, including the Lions last month. He's been working out with former NFL kicker Michael Husted since last year in hopes of earning a roster spot. At 6-foot-2, 245 pounds, Rugland is massive for a kicker. As his highlight tape shows, he has plenty of power in his leg, knocking down a 60-yard attempt. If he makes it to training camp, he'll compete with 38-year-old veteran, and six-time Pro Bowler, David Akers. The Lions signed Akers to a one-year contract shortly after Hanson announced his retirement. Akers' deal is worth the veteran's minimum with only $35,000 guaranteed. "
Derek Dimke, New York Jets
"About a month after re-signing kicker Nick Folk to a 1-year deal, the Jets have inked another. Derek Dimke, an Illinois grad who spent last year's training camp with the Detroit Lions, joined the Jets Thursday on a three-year deal, according to Dimke's agent, Paul Sheehy. The Jets bring two kickers into camp almost every offseason. Last year, it was Folk and Josh Brown. The year before that, it was Folk and Nick Novak. New GM John Idzik has preached a competitive environment, leaving every spot open for the taking, which left no surprise that the Jets would take two kickers into the summer."
David Akers, Detroit Lions
"It’s not often signing a 38-year-old constitutes a youth movement, but that’s exactly the spot the Lions find themselves in at kicker. One day after Jason Hanson retired after 21 NFL seasons, the Lions found his replacement, agreeing to terms with six-time Pro Bowler David Akers. Akers, four years Hanson’s junior, is coming off a down year in which he battled a hip injury most of the season and missed 13 of 42 field-goal attempts. When healthy at the beginning of last year, he tied an NFL record with a 63-yard field goal in a season-opening win over the Green Bay Packers. Akers, who was released by the San Francisco 49ers last month, visited the Lions on Tuesday. Hanson said earlier this off-season he wanted to play at least one more year in Detroit, but the unrestricted free agent couldn’t come to a contract agreement with the Lions, prompting his retirement. The 42-year-old had been slow to recover from a heel injury he suffered last season. The Lions have had the most stable kicking position in the NFL the last three decades, using two primary kickers for more than 30 years. Eddie Murray handled the kicking duties for 12 seasons, from 1980-91, before Hanson replaced him as a second-round pick in 1992."
Brandon Bogotay, Cleveland Browns
"A three-year letterman as a kicker at the University of Georgia (2009-11), Bogotay appeared in 14 contests, while kicking behind current Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh, who as a rookie in 2012 was voted to the NFC Pro Bowl squad. During his collegiate career, Bogotay handled kickoff duties as eight of his 29 career kickoffs went for touchbacks. He also converted all seven career PATs. As a senior, he made one of two field goal attempts, as his only miss came from 52 yards. Before attending the University of Georgia, Bogotay spent one season at Grossmont College in El Cajon, California, where he was named a First-Team All-Southern Conference selection after converting 15-of-23 field goals with a long of 52 yards."
Nate Kaeding, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
"Kaeding signed a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tuesday morning. Kaeding, the former All-America collegian from Iowa, and Iowa City West, is a 9-year NFL veteran. He had spent his entire career with the San Diego Chargers until getting waived in midseason. He was signed for the last two games of the season by the Miami Dolphins. Nothing is guaranteed for Kaeding in this deal. Connor Barth is the Bucs’ incumbent kicker. He has been on the team for the last four seasons, and set the franchise-record for consecutive field goals made with 25. He was 28-for-33 last year with a long field goal of 57 yards and six from 50-plus. But the Bucs invited Kaeding to Tampa this week, and he had dinner with new Bucs special teams coordinator Dave Wannstedt Monday night. Wannstedt is a former NFL head coach who joined Greg Schiano’s Tampa Bay staff two months ago. 'I’m real excited,' Kaeding said. 'It’s a good division (the NFC South) for a kicker with two domes (New Orleans and Atlanta), and good weather in Tampa. The market for kickers was lukewarm at best so I was kind of biding my time. This seemed like the best option going into camp. I think it’s a great fit'."
Giorgio Tavecchio, Green Bay Packers
"The Packers have finished auditions and chosen a former University of California kicker who didn’t make the NFL as an undrafted rookie last year to compete with Mason Crosby this offseason for their place-kicking job. Giorgio Tavecchio, one of at least three kickers the Packers worked out this offseason, signed a three-year deal with them Tuesday. It’s not unusual for the Packers to sign street free agents early in the spring and then release them during offseason workouts or practices in favor of other prospects, but they appear committed to Tavecchio for the full offseason and training camp to challenge Crosby. “I highly doubt it,” said Dave Sofaer, Tavecchio’s agent, of the possibility the Packers will make another change or two at kicker before the start of training camp. “Giorgio would have not have signed if that were even a possibility.” Tavecchio, 22, will be Crosby’s first on-site competition since his rookie season of 2007, when as a sixth-round draft pick he beat out Dave Rayner for the Packers’ job."
Phil Dawson
San Francisco 49ers
"Dawson, who thrived in a wind-swept, lakefront stadium in which his team so often failed, is no longer a Browns kicker. The franchise’s most consistent performer since its return to Cleveland in 1999 agreed to terms with the San Francisco 49ers today. Dawson wrote on his Twitter account: 'Hey, Cleveland. Thank you for a tremendous ride. Your love, support & encouragement have blessed me deeply'.... In Dawson, the 49ers are obtaining the ninth-most accurate field-goal kicker (84.0 percent) in league history. About the only thing the 49ers don’t know is how Dawson performs in an long postseason run. He appeared in only one playoff game, during the 2002 season, and has played on just two winning teams."
Nick Folk, New York Jets
"The Jets have re-signed placekicker Nick Folk, who became an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday but will now begin his fourth season as their kicker. Last season was arguably Folk's strongest as a Jet. He hit 21 of his 27 field goal tries (77.8%), including his first 11, equaling his franchise record for most FGs hit without a miss from the start of a season, which he set in 2011. He was 3-for-4 from 50-plus yards out, including a 54-yarder at New England that tied for the third-longest road field goal in franchise history."
Josh Brown, New York Giants
"Veteran kicker Josh Brown is signing with the team this morning, according to two people with knowledge of the move. These people requested anonymity because the Giants have not yet announced the signing. Lawrence Tynes is an unrestricted free agent, and it appeared the Giants weren't ready to sign him to another big contract. They added former Cowboys kicker David Buehler as insurance last month, and brought Brown in for a visit and physical last night. Brown, 33, last kicked for the Bengals in December, earning special teams player of the month honors as he replaced the injured Mike Nugent. He started his career in Seattle in 2004 and also played four seasons in St. Louis, where he was cut after the Rams drafted Greg Zuerlein. Brown was edged out for the Jets' kicking job by Nick Folk after a training camp competition last summer."
Nick Novak
San Diego Chargers
"A person with knowledge of the deal says the San Diego Chargers have agreed in principle to a four-year contract with kicker Nick Novak. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details are still being finalized. Novak, who had been scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent, can't sign the contract until free agency begins on Tuesday afternoon. Teams are able to negotiate with agents of unrestricted free agents from Saturday into Tuesday afternoon. Novak made 18 of 20 field goal attempts (90 percent) in 2012, the third-highest conversion rate in team history. He was signed on Sept. 29 after Nate Kaeding hurt his groin in practice two days before a game at Kansas City. Novak also kicked for San Diego in the final 15 games of 2011 after Kaeding was hurt on the season-opening kickoff."
Mike Nugent, Cincinnati Bengals
"The Cincinnati Bengals have re-signed place kicker Mike Nugent for two years, preventing him from becoming a free agent. A nine-year veteran, Nugent has been with the Bengals for three seasons. He injured his right calf in December but Josh Brown filled the void during Cincinnati's playoff run, converting 11 of 12 field goals (91.7 percent), with his only miss coming on a desperation 56-yarder in Pittsburgh. Nugent, who received the Bengals' franchise tag last offseason after setting team records with 132 points and 33 field goals in 2011, turned 31 last week while Brown turns 34 next month. He tied a Cincinnati record with a 55-yard field goal against Oakland last season. Nugent has made 83.8 percent of his field goals as a Bengal, the second-best career percentage in club history. "It's great to be able to come back to a place where you love going to work every day," Nugent told the team's website. 'That obviously means a lot and I really think we've got a good thing going with the specialists. We've been together a long time and that not only helps us, but it helps the team, too'."
David Buehler, New York Giants
"The Giants announced today [2/13/13] they have signed kicker David Buehler. Buehler, who turned 26 last week, was with the Dallas Cowboys from 2009-2011. He handled kickoff duties throughout the first two of those seasons and in four games in 2011. In three years, Buehler had 60 touchbacks on 175 kickoffs, a 34.3 percentage. He led the NFL with 29 touchbacks (on 76 kickoffs) as a rookie in 2009."
Lawrence Tynes is schedule to become a free agent.
Carson Wiggs, Seattle Seahawks
"The Seattle Seahawks signed kicker Carson Wiggs to a futures contract as part of the team’s 80-man roster for the 2013 season. The Purdue product was with the team during training camp in 2012, and also was brought back for a tryout during the playoffs, with the Seahawks ultimately signing veteran Ryan Longwell because of his postseason experience. The move is an interesting one, because starting kicker Steven Hauschka finished the season on the injured reserve with a calf issue, and will be an unrestricted free agent in March. Hauschka’s been very accurate during his two years with Seattle, finishing 49 of 57 (86 percent) in field goal attempts. But he’s just 3 of 8 from 50 yards or more while with the Seahawks. Wiggs has the stronger leg between the two kickers."
Jake Rogers, New York Giants
"Giants added three new reserve/futures contracts to their total, including kicker/punter Jake Rogers... Rogers  signed with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2011. His stay there didn't last long and he ended up spending his rookie preseason with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he made all three of his field goal attempts and punted the ball six times for a 41.7-yard gross average. He played his college ball at University of Cincinnati, where he remains the school's all-time scoring leader with 399 points."
Danny Hrapmann, Pittsburgh Steelers
"Hrapmann was in Latrobe in 2012, competing with Shaun Suisham for placekicking duties. Hrapmann made all six of his field goal attempts, including a game winner against the Indianapolis Colts in the second week of the preseason. In the end, Suisham retained his starting job. Hrapmann was unemployed and remained unsigned the rest of the year. Hrapmann will be given another chance to change the mind of the Steelers coaching staff and front office. While on the field he will be competing against Suisham once again, assisting Hrapmann this time will be Suisham's own contract. Suisham had arguably his best season as a professional kicker, missing only three field goals all season.... Hrapmann will need to outperform Suisham enough to invoke enough confidence in Kevin Colbert and Omar Khan to view Suisham as a cap space saving cut option. Suisham has two years remaining on his contract, both scheduled for base salaries of over $1.4 million. Hrapmann's futures contract would pay $405,000."
Rob Bironas, Tennessee Titans
"Rob Bironas wants to finish his career where he started it. The Titans' Pro Bowl kicker will continue to get that chance after he agreed Thursday on a multi-year contract extension with the team he began his NFL journey with in 2005. 'This is where I wanted to be playing -- for the Titans, in the city of Nashville and the state of Tennessee," Bironas said Thursday afternoon. "This is where I call home, so it was an easy decision for me. I started my career here, and obviously I would like to end it here'."

1 comment:

Jonathan K Robinson said...

Keep up the good work w/ the signings. Need to list Jose Carlos Maltos w/ the Saints and Eddy Carmona w/ the Raiders. Both from Monterrey Mexico. Also Brandon Mcmanus (temple) w/ the Colts and Brett Maher (nebraska)w/Jets....all have a good shot to push the veterans in 2013. I like Carmona & Mcmanus to grab roster spots. Jonathan K Robinson

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