The Panthers auditioned kickers Chandler Catanzaro, Lirim Hajrullahu, and Louie Zervos on Thursday, according to the league’s transactions wire. All three could serve as insurance for current kicker Joey Slye, who just missed a 54-yarder that would have sealed the deal against the Vikings.
Slye’s job isn’t necessarily in jeopardy. His 77.4% field goal conversion doesn’t jump off of the page, but two of his attempts were from 65+ yards out. Take those out of the equation, and he’s got a much more respectable ~83% rate. In general, the Panthers have confidence in Slye — his 8-of-11 success rate from 50+ yards last year allowed them to part ways with the talented, yet pricier, Graham Gano.
Catanzaro is the biggest name of the workout bunch, though we haven’t seen him on the field in a while. The 29-year-old’s last live action came towards the end of the 2018 season. In 2019, he hooked on with the Jets and retired soon after (we can’t blame him). This year, he had a cup of coffee with the Giants, but lost out to Gano. Catanzaro is best known for his early work with the Cardinals — he sank 87.9% of his kicks as a rookie in 2014 and 90.3% of his tries in 2015.
After the bye, Panthers will look to bounce back against the Broncos.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.