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2010 NFL Free Agent Kickers and Punters

By: Roshan Bhagat

Neil Rackers, Arizona Cardinals (34)
Rackers has played well so far, though hasn’t been called on to kick many field goals. His only miss in 16 attempts came from 48 yards out. Though he has yet to attempt a field goal from outside 50 yards, he’s connecting on over 90%. With some teams struggling to find good kickers this year, the Cardinals will probably re-sign Rackers who has been pretty consistent inside 50 yards. He’s still among the league’s best kicker and has plenty of range for kickoffs.

Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots (26)
Gostkowski has had a pretty average season, booting at 81% success rate, but has been mediocre for his career between 40 and 49 yards. He has done a nice job on kickoffs though, ranking in the top 5 in touchbacks. The Patriots will try to extend him, but if the asking price becomes too much for them, they should have no problem finding another kicker of his caliber.

Shayne Graham, Cincinnati Bengals (32)
After struggling early in the year, missing 3 kicks and an extra point through 7 games, the Bengals canned long-time long snapper Brad St. Louis. Since then, he’s missed only 2 kicks including 1 a 51-yarder at Heinz Field, a place known for its impossibility in connecting on long distance attempts. Graham is still one of the most consistent kickers in the league.

Dan Carpenter, Miami Dolphins (24) – Exclusive Rights FA
The Dolphins have found a very good field goal kicker in Dan Carpenter who has only missed one field goal in 20 attempts this season (49 yard attempt). As an exclusive rights free agent next year and a restricted free agent the year after, the Dolphins will be able to retain him for the next couple years.

Other Notable Free Agents:

Jay Feely, New York Jets (34)
Garrett Hartley, New Orleans Saints (24)
Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders (32)
Olindo Mare, Seattle Seahawks (37)
Matt Prater, Denver Broncos (26) – Restricted FA
Jeff Reed, Pittsburgh Steelers (31)
Shaun Suisham, Washington Redskins (28)

Top Punters:

Jon Ryan, Seattle Seahawks (28)
Ryan has done a very good job for Seattle this year with a 47.3 average (4th best) and a 40.0 net (8th best). After coming to Seattle after being cut by Green Bay, Ryan has been an above average punter and is a good bet to be re-signed by Seattle.

Sam Koch, Baltimore Ravens (28)
Koch hasn’t continued his upward trend, but has still been a consistent punter, able to pin opponents within the 20. He also gets good hang time on his punts, ranking in the top 10 in return yards allowed per punt. After signing a mid-level offer sheet a year ago, expect Koch and the Ravens to work on a contract extension.

Michael Koenen, Atlanta Falcons (28)
Koenen isn’t having the type of season he had last year when he set a league record in return yards allowed (49), but is doing a great job yet again. His directional punting and distance control has led to 17 In-20’s opposed to only 2 touchbacks in 47 attempts. Koenen is near the league leaders in percent of punts returned. Look for the Falcons to re-sign him after designating him the franchise player a year ago.

Other Notable Free Agents:

Brad Maynard, Chicago Bears (36)
Daniel Sepulveda, Pittsburgh Steelers (26) – Restricted FA
Hunter Smith, Washington Redskins (33)

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