5:15pm: Zuerlein’s one-year deal has a base value of just $1.25MM, but includes $675K guaranteed and can max out at $3.3MM, according to Rand Getlin of the NFL Network (Twitter link). That indicates that Zuerlein should have a leg up on any competition the Rams bring in for training camp.
5:05pm: The Rams have agreed to terms on a new contract with free agent kicker Greg Zuerlein, per Myles Simmons of TheRams.com (Twitter link). Ian Rapoport of NFL.com adds (via Twitter) that it’s a one-year deal.
Zuerlein, 28, has a huge leg, but has struggled with his accuracy since entering the league in 2012. Outside of the 2013 season, when he missed just two kicks all year, Zuerlein has never made more than 80% of his field goal tries in a year. In 2015, he made just 20 of 30 field goals (66.7%), and missed a pair of extra points as well.
While the majority of Zuerlein’s misses – both in 2015 and earlier in his career – have come from beyond 50 yards (3-for-9 in 2015, 16-for-31 for his career), he hasn’t been automatic on shorter kicks either. For instance, in his four seasons, he has missed five of 38 field goal attempts from between 30 and 39 yards.
Head coach Jeff Fisher indicated at last month’s owners meetings that he and the Rams intended to bring in some competition at kicker even if Zuerlein returned, and that remains the plan, says Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com (Twitter link). In a follow-up tweet on his initial report, Simmons noted that he believes the Rams will bring in another kicker who will have “a decent shot” at beating out Zuerlein for the job.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.