The Seahawks may not be able to afford a high-profile free agent kicker at all, but here are a few that may remain available in March.
Graham Gano, Panthers
He was 29-of-30 last season, doing better on field goals than he did on extra points (34-of-37). This may get him a huge offer from Carolina or somewhere else, but as a reminder of kicker volatility: Gano was just 30-of-38 in 2016, a FG% of just 78.9.
Sebastian Janikowski, Raiders
After missing the entire season, Janikowski hits free agency at age 40, 18 years after Oakland took him 17th overall. He’s been a solid kicker for most of the last decade and will get an opportunity somewhere if he wants one, but Seattle (or any team) really can’t have any idea who or what they’ll be getting. What will it cost to acquire such a wild card veteran?
Adam Vinatieri, Colts
The only reason the 45-year-old would leave Indy is if he didn’t like Chris Ballard or new head coach Frank Reich. But he’s spent most of his career there after spending 10 years in New England. He has nothing to play for at this point but records and Super Bowls. He won’t win a Super Bowl in Indianapolis probably, so maybe that also pushes him to a new city that’s expected to contend. But he may just be content with simply staying where he’s at, in terms of a living situation and being a person in his mid-40s.
Matt Bryant, Falcons
Also a veteran not likely to go anywhere.
Ryan Succop, Titans
He led the NFL with 42 attempts, making 35 of them. Consider that two years ago, he went just 14-of-16 for Tennessee over the course of a full season. I don’t see him leaving unless the Titans just don’t want to pay him. But he was making $2.4 million last season, so the “raise” to say, $4 million, won’t be as drastic as it would be if Succop had been on a rookie deal.
Caleb Sturgis, Eagles
Sturgis represents perhaps the “most available” kicker there will be, as the Eagles have found a kicker-of-the-future in Jake Elliott, Sturgis’ replacement after his Week 1 injury. Sturgis had gone 35-of-41 in 2016 though, so he’ll probably be the most sought after kicker on the market. He recovered from a torn flexor midseason but Philly chose to stick with Elliott, so the injury is also way behind him. He’s 28 and will probably look for $2.5-$4.5 million per season. He’s the best option available maybe, which could push him out of Seattle’s desired price range.
Kai Forbath, Vikings
He was 32-of-38, also exceptionally good, but Minnesota isn’t going to let him go after seeing what happened with both having Blair Walsh and how good it was to not have Blair Walsh.
Dustin Hopkins, Washington
Hopkins could join Sturgis on the market, also because of an injury, after missing half the season with a bum hip. He had an NFL-high 42 attempts in 2016 though and has had a solid 2.5-season career.
Patrick Murray, Bucs / Nick Folk, Bucs
Tampa’s recent history with kickers is sadly hilarious. They had Murray in 2014 (when they were 2-14) then went to Connor Barth and Kyle Brindza, then drafted Roberto Aguayo in the second round, then cut Aguayo a year later, then brought back Murray, plus some Nick Folk. Folk went 6-of-11 and then Murray was brought in to go 19-of-23. Those woes may lead them to overpay for Murray to assure that they are solidified at that position (for now) or they could lose him because that’s what is on game for the Bucs to do. But Murray was also just 2-of-5 from beyond 50. His stats are skewed a bit by going 13-of-13 inside 40.
Folk is a veteran option, but not a very reassuring one.
Cody Parkey, Dolphins
He was a Pro Bowl kicker for the Eagles in 2014, missed most of 2015, with the Browns in 2016, then 21-of-23 for Miami last season. He may not have the strongest leg but he’s fairly reliable on the shorter kicks; however he is just 18-of-27 in his career from 40-49 yards.
Cairo Santos, Bears/Chiefs
Injuries pushed him out of KC after they landed Harrison Butker, then the Bears picked him up, only to place him on IR after two games. Santos is just 26 and has some solid career moments however, winning a Player of the Month award in November, 2016. Chicago may push to keep him, given their own issues at the position. FieldGulls
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