Patriots To Hold Open K Competition Between Chad Ryland, Joey Slye

The Patriots selected Chad Ryland in the fourth round of the 2023 draft as Nick Folk‘s successor. The latter was ultimately traded to the Titans in a sign of confidence for the rookie.

While Folk delivered a strong season which landed him a new Tennessee contract, Ryland endured an inconsistent debut campaign. The 24-year-old connected on just 16 of 25 field goal attempts, including five of 10 kicks between between 40 and 49 yards. Ryland only missed one of his 25 extra point tries, but it came as no surprise when the Patriots added a veteran competitor this offseason.

New England signed Joey Slye in May shortly after he was released by the Jaguars. Jacksonville already had Riley Patterson in the fold before becoming one of the teams which drafted a kicker, leading to the decision to let go of Slye. The 28-year-old is a veteran of 78 games spent with four different teams, including a stint in Washington which ran from midway through the 2021 campaign through the end of last season.

Slye has a career accuracy rate of 82.3%, a figure buoyed by the 12-for-12 start to his Commanders tenure. He saw his success rate dip over the past two seasons, though, and he will need a strong showing this summer to cement the Patriots’ kicking role. As team reporter Paul Perillo notes, both Ryland and Slye will have the opportunity to win the position during training camp and the preseason in what is “expected to be a true competition.”

Perillo adds that Slye was the more accurate of the two during OTAs and minicamp, but summer practices and exhibition games will provide plenty of further chances for Ryland to gain an advantage. The latter is on the books for the next three years via his rookie contract, and he would be subject to waivers if New England elected to keep Slye on the active roster instead of him. Ryland could be a developmental practice squad candidate if no outside team showed interest, though.

Slye’s deal is worth the veteran minimum, and releasing him during the summer would create $1.28MM in cap savings without any dead money accruing. Neither contender for the kicking gig therefore has much in the way of security, so their performances in the coming weeks will be crucial.

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