Matt Bryant will celebrate his 41st birthday in a few weeks, but he’s not thinking retirement. The kicker says that he is looking forward to getting back to his old form in 2016 after a difficult 2015.
“I’m good,” Bryant said, according to ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure. “Rest and not pushing it was the best. I could have played the last two games but without being 100 percent mentally sure about it, I expressed and it was agreed that it wouldn’t be the best for the team or myself. I still have some good, productive years left. I won’t let one anomaly of a year get in the way of what I’ve done and what I’m still capable of.”
Of course, it’s not a given that Bryant will have the Falcons’ kicking job this year. The veteran made 14 of 18 field goals through ten games in 2015 before being placed on season-ending IR with a quad injury. Bryant avoided surgery on the injured quad, but Atlanta still wants to see if he has maintained strength in his kicking leg. As a Plan B for the veteran, the Falcons have signed undrafted kicker Nick Rose out of Texas. Rose made 13 of 17 field goals last season and also gained some internet notoriety when he nailed an 80-yard field goal in practice.
Bryant is scheduled to make $2.85MM in 2016, with a $1.3MM roster bonus. He’s also under contract for 2017 and he’ll carry a $2.833MM cap number in that season if he remains on the Falcons’ roster. Bryant’s current salary places him as the 14th highest paid kicker in the NFL, according to the data at Over The Cap.
Photo courtesy of USA Today of Sports Images.