He made 12 of his first 13 attempts to begin the season but only nine of his final 16. He finished 29th among qualified kickers with a 72.4 percent field goal rate.
The Seahawks were hoping for much better when they signed Walsh last offseason before letting their longtime kicker, Stephen Hauschka, walk as a free agent. It was a curious decision to many who wondered why Seattle would move on from the most accurate kicker the franchise has ever had — Hauschka’s 87.3 percent field goal rate is fourth-best in NFL history — in favor of Walsh, whose career had gotten badly off track leading to his release from the Vikings during the 2016 season.
But Hauschka was coming off a down season of his own. Though he made 33 of 37 field goals, he missed six extra point attempts and had repeated issues with the trajectory of his kicks, leading to several being blocked.
Re-signing him would have meant betting big on Hauschka having a bounce-back season. The Seahawks instead made a smaller bet on Walsh to do the same thing. His one-year deal included an $800,000 base salary with an extra $300,000 available in incentives and no guaranteed money. By comparison, Hauschka had a $2.7 million salary and a $3.525 million cap hit in his final season with Seattle. He signed a three-year, $8.885 million deal with Buffalo that included $4 million guaranteed.
The reasoning behind the switch was understandable. In retrospect, it’s a decision the Seahawks surely would like to have back after Walsh struggled and Hauschka excelled in Buffalo, making 29 of 33 field goals (11th) and all of his PATs. ESPN
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