The Falcons have initiated contract negotiations with pending free agent kicker Matt Bryant, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Bryant will turn 43 years old before the 2018 season gets underway, but like fellow aging placekicker Adam Vinatieri (who appears to be nearing his own new deal with the Colts), Bryant hasn’t shown any signs of age. Last year, Bryant converted 87.2% of his field goals — good for 12th in the NFL — and made eight-of-nine attempts from 50+ yards. The eight attempts from greater than 50 yards were an NFL high, and a sign that Bryant still offers a booming leg.
Bryant was perfect on extra point tries, as he made all 35 of his attempts on the year. He also fared well in Football Outsiders‘ advanced metrics, which rank kickers based on how their field goal attempts compare to the league-average conversion rate from the same distance. Bryant offered 6.4 points through field goals and extra points, which ranked ninth in the NFL.
Under the terms of a three-year extension he inked in 2015, Bryant had been collecting an annual salary of $2.833MM (12th among kickers). He figures to see a bump in pay due to his recent production, and could see his per year paycheck rise into the $3-3.5MM range.
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