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Falcons To Sign Giorgio Tavecchio

The Falcons have agreed to sign kicker Giorgio Tavecchio to a two-year deal, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Tavecchio, who was with the club in camp, will hold down the fort while starter Matt Bryant recovers from a hamstring injury.

Tavecchio, 28, was released by the Raiders earlier this year, despite a decent 2017 season in which he made 16 of 21 field goal attempts, including three from 50-plus yards. He also made 33 of his 34 extra point attempts last year. He was signed in August to compete for the top job, but that was a longshot given Bryant’s track record. While Tavecchio missed the final cut, the Falcons kept his number handy.

Through six games, the ageless Bryant has nailed all nine of his field goal attempts, including three tries from 50 yards or more. For at least a game or two, Tavecchio will try to uphold the high standard Bryant has set.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons May Replace Giorgio Tavecchio

Giorgio Tavecchio might be on shaky ground. After another rocky preseason performance, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn indicated that he might look into replacing the kicker. 

Any time at any position, when we miss the mark, we want to find out why and what we can do to get better,” Quinn said. “It’s definitely a spot we are continuing to evaluate and that is always the case.”

Tavecchio’s latest miss came on a 39-yard try, which is a chip shot by NFL standards. That was his fourth miss in eight attempts this preseason, which could be enough for Quinn to kick him off the roster.

My focus is always on myself and controlling the controllable,” Tavecchio said. “There’s a lot of things out of your control in this business. I know when I wake up every morning, I say a little prayer of gratitude and give my best each day.”

Tavecchio joined the Falcons in the middle of the 2018 season to fill in for longtime Falcons kicker Matt Bryant. This offseason, they parted ways with the clutch-kicking veteran and moved forward with the former Raider, but they might be having second thoughts about that plan.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Sign K Giorgio Tavecchio

The Falcons have signed former Raiders kicker Giorgio Tavecchio, according to a team announcement. The move gives the Falcons three kickers on their roster for the time being. 

Tavecchio, 28, was released by the Raiders this year, despite a decent 2017 season in which he made 16 of 21 field goal attempts, including three from 50-plus yards. He also made 33 of his 34 extra point attempts last year.

Tavecchio will compete with Matt Bryant – the Falcons’ all-time leading scorer – and Georgia product David Marvin for the team’s kicking job. The game of musical chairs won’t last long with roster cuts coming on Saturday.

The Falcons inked Bryant to a three-year, $10.5MM extension in March to make him one of the ten highest-paid kickers in the NFL. The deal included a $2MM signing bonus, so that would be a sunk cost for Atlanta if they release him.

Last year, Bryant nailed 87.2% of his field goals, good for 12th in the NFL. He also sank eight-of-nine attempts from 50 yards or more.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Work Out Giorgio Tavecchio

Kicker Giorgio Tavecchio worked out for the Falcons this week, a source tells Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal (on Twitter). Tavecchio was waived by the Raiders on Friday, making him a free agent. 

The Tavecchio audition could be an indication that the Falcons have some doubts about 43-year-old Matt Bryant. That would be somewhat surprising, since the Falcons inked Bryant to a three-year, $10.5MM extension in March to make him one of the ten highest-paid kickers in the NFL. The deal included a $2MM signing bonus, so that would be a sunk cost for Atlanta if they release him.

Last year, Bryant nailed 87.2% of his field goals, good for 12th in the NFL. He also sank eight-of-nine attempts from 50 yards or more, so his power hasn’t deteriorated much. Tavecchio, meanwhile, made 16 of his 21 field goal attempts with the Raiders in 2017 (76%), including three-of-four tries from 50 yards or further.

The Falcons also have Georgia UDFA kicker David Marvin on the 90-man roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders To Waive Giorgio Tavecchio, Sign Mike Nugent

The Raiders are going to be moving in a different direction at kicker. Giorgio Tavecchio won’t be a part of Oakland’s kicking competition any longer, with Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reporting (on Twitter) the second-year kicker will be waived.

Oakland, though, won’t automatically give rookie Eddy Pineiro the job. Mike Nugent will join the team, per Gehlken.

Tavecchio served as the Raiders’ kicker throughout last season, having replaced Sebastian Janikowski. Tavecchio made 16 of his 21 field goal attempts with the Raiders in 2017 and converted 33 of his 34 PAT tries. But Jon Gruden has orchestrated a string of shakeups this offseason, and Tavecchio’s trip to the waiver wire serves as the latest.

The 28-year-old Italian endured a rough Friday at Raiders camp, per Vic Tafur of The Athletic (Twitter link). The Raiders, though, gave Pineiro a $25K signing bonus to compete with the incumbent as a UDFA.

If the 36-year-old Nugent beats out the rookie, the Raiders will be his seventh team. He last kicked for the Bears and Cowboys (four games apiece) in 2017. He served as the Bengals’ kicker for six years prior to that. However, Tafur adds (on Twitter) Nugent will be viewed as more of a mentor than full-fledged competition for Pineiro. He may be insurance in case the Florida product, who made 17 of his 18 field goal tries last season, has a rough preseason.

Two right-footed kickers are now vying for the Raiders’ job, with the winner set to become the first non-lefty to serve as the Oakland kicker since Brad Daluiso 17 years ago.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/24/20

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Houston Texans

  • Signed: C Cohl Cabral
  • Released: DE Kendal Futrell

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Signed LB/LS Christian Kuntz

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

NFL Workout Updates: 11/1/19

The latest from the workout circuit around the league:

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Patriots To Release K Mike Nugent

The Patriots are cutting kicker Mike Nugent, sources tell The MMQB’s Albert Breer (on Twitter). Nugent’s replacement is TBD, but we know this much: The Pats will be moving on to their third kicker of the 2019 season.

The Patriots worked out other kickers before signing Nugent this year, including Giorgio Tavecchio, Nick Folk, Greg Joseph, and Austin MacGinnis. They could circle back to those names, or bring in a new group of kickers, as they look to sort out the situation.

Nugent went 5-of-8 on field goals during his short Patriots run, but it was his two misses against the Browns that cost him his job. The Patriots still won and advanced to 8-0, but head coach Bill Belichick decided he was through with Nugent anyway.

The Pats’ search for a new kicker, in theory, could lead them to Matt Bryant. The veteran, who was cut loose by the Falcons on Tuesday, could give them an experienced option in crunch time.

Lions Cut Six Players

The Lions are the latest team announce their roster machinations in advance of tomorrow’s cutdown deadline. The following players have been released, per Tim Twentyman of Lions.com (via Twitter):

Twentyman also tweets that S DeJon Gomes has been placed on injured reserve. With Tavecchio’s release, Nate Freese has won Detriot’s kicking competition.

Falcons To Sign Matt Bryant

The Falcons are re-signing veteran kicker Matt Bryant, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). It’s a one-year, $3MM deal, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter). Bryant retired after parting ways with Atlanta in the offseason, but he’ll return at the age of 44 to handle Atlanta’s kicking duties.

Bryant will take over the job that was supposed to belong to either Giorgio Tavecchio or Blair Walsh this year. Both kickers struggled in practice – with Walsh having serious hiccups in full view of the press earlier this week – so Bryant will go from the couch to the field to solidify their special teams.

Bryant, 44, nailed 95.2% of his field goal tries for the Falcons last year, but the Falcons elected to save money by declining his 2019 option. Now, Bryant will resume work in Atlanta for his eleventh-straight season with the club.

Matt Bryant To Try Out For Falcons

Maybe age really is just a number. Kicker Matt Bryant will try out for the Falcons on Friday, according to Bryant’s former teammate and current CNN reporter Coy Wire (on Twitter). 

Bryant, 44, nailed 95.2% of his field goal tries for the Falcons last year, but the Falcons elected to save money by declining his 2019 option. It brought an end to Bryant’s 10-year run as the Falcons’ top leg, though they could rekindle their relationship if Bryant auditions well on Friday.

Blair Walsh, whose career has been defined by ill-timed misses, was recently brought on board to challenge Giorgio Tavecchio (Bryant’s initial replacement). This week, in full view of the press, Walsh went just 5-of-9 on his field goal attempts in practice.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/8/17

Today’s practice squad moves:

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

  • Signed: CB Dee Virgin
  • Released: DE Daniel Ross

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Oakland Raiders

  • Signed: K Giorgio Tavecchio
  • Released: LB Max Valles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Falcons To Consider Kicking Competition 

Younghoe Koo isn’t a lock to be the Falcons’ kicker this year. Head coach Dan Quinn says he’s thinking about adding another kicker to the 90-man offseason roster to compete alongside him.

We are still definitely considering adding a kicker into that spot,” Quinn said. “You could imagine that some of those decisions involve workouts and things that aren’t at this space.”

The Falcons passed on this year’s class of incoming kickers, which included Justin Rohrwasser (Patriots, fifth round), Tyler Bass (Bills, sixth round), and Sam Sloman (Rams, seventh round). Some expected them to dip into the available crop of rookie kickers, since they’ve had trouble in that department. Last year, they thought they were set with Giorgio Tavecchio. Then, the preseason happened – after Tavecchio missed his fourth attempt out of eight, they briefly pivoted to Blair Walsh before circling back to Matt Bryant. Bryant – who has been reliable, historically – flopped, leading them to Koo in late October.

Koo performed well, nailing 23 of 26 field goal tries and 15 of 16 extra points. Still, the Falcons won’t rest easy when it comes to their kickers. From the sound of it, they’ll have another leg in the mix this summer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/10/20

Here are the NFL’s recent practice squad moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

  • Released: C Cohl Cabral

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Minor Moves: Monday

Let’s round up today’s minor moves, with any new transactions being added to the top of the list:

  • The Raiders have signed kicker Giorgio Tavecchio, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter link). Oakland originally claimed Tavecchio off waivers from Detroit on August 26 of last year, but waived him just four days later as it moved down to a 53-man roster.
  • The Vikings have added linebacker Brian Peters, the club announced in a press release. Peters, a Northwestern alum, has spent the past two years with the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders, leading the team in tackles in 2014.

Texans Work Out Kickers Tavecchio, Rose

The Texans worked out kickers Giorgio Tavecchio and Nick Rose on Wednesday, sources tell Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). Both players performed well, but Wilson hears that Tavecchio is the one who is under consideration to be signed. 

Tavecchio played for Texans special teams coach Brad Seely while they were both with the Raiders, so he would be a logical fit for the team. If signed, he’ll compete with incumbent kicker Kai’imi Fairbairn for the job.

Last year, Fairbairn connected on 20 of 25 field goal tries (80%) and 32 of 35 of extra point attempts (91.4%). Tavecchio, meanwhile, made 16 of his 21 field goal attempts (76%), including three-of-four tries from 50 yards or further.

Tavecchio recently auditioned for the Falcons, but left Atlanta without a deal. His next opportunity may come in Houston.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/9/18

Here are today’s minor moves.

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Oakland Raiders

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Signed: OL Joseph Cheek
  • Signed: OL Larson Graham
  • Signed: OL Parker Collins

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Giants Hold Kicker Workout

A year after Aldrick Rosas made the Pro Bowl, the Giants are working out kickers. Rosas missed two field goals in the Giants’ five-point loss to the Bears.

The Giants brought in kickers Blair Walsh, Giorgio Tavecchio, Austin MacGinnis and Cole Hedlund on Tuesday, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson (on Twitter).

While Rosas did not kick well in Week 12, also booting a kickoff out of bounds, it would still be rather surprising to see a team give up on a third-year kicker who received a 2018 Pro Bowl invite. Rosas made 32 of 33 field goal tries last season and missed just one extra point. This year, he has not received nearly as many field goal chances. The former UDFA out of Southern Oregon is 8-for-12 on field goals and has missed three PATs.

Walsh caught on briefly with the Falcons and worked out for the Patriots and Jets this year. He also took part in a January workout for the then-kicker-needy Bears. Tavecchio and Walsh were briefly Falcons teammates this summer. The former held Atlanta’s kicking job for part of the 2018 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Make Cuts, Down To 75

The Raiders have cut down to 75 with roughly 24 hours to spare. The following players have been waived by Oakland:

  • Chris Edwards
  • S Chris Hackett
  • S Jimmy Hall
  • WR Joe Hanley
  • WR Max McCaffrey
  • WR Nathan Palmer
  • DT Leon Orr
  • K Giorgio Tavecchio
  • TE Colton Underwood
  • DB Tramain Jacobs
  • LS Andrew East
  • LB Lenny Jones
  • OL Terran Vaughn
  • OL Ross Burbank

In addition, the Raiders also formally placed tight end Gabe Holmes on IR.

McCaffrey, of course, is the son of former Denver wide receiver Ed McCaffrey. Max, a Duke product, turned heads when he posted a 4.46 second 40-yard dash at his pro day earlier this year.

Falcons Reach 53 Man Limit

The Falcons reached the 53-man limit by dropping a total of 35 players and placing quarterback Matt Simms on injured reserve. Along the way, the Falcons also cut some notable veterans.

Here’s the full rundown of the team’s cuts, including some previously reported moves:

S Parker Baldwin
LB Yurik Bethune
WR Christian Blake
RB Tony Brooks-James
LB Richie Brown (Waived/injured)
CB Taveze Calhoun (Waived/injured)
LB Bruce Carter (Released)
DT Stefan Charles (Released)
S Chris Cooper
LB Tre Crawford
TE Thomas Duarte
QB Danny Etling
OL Adam Gettis (Released)
TE Alex Gray (Waived/injured)
WR Devin Gray
WR Marcus Green
OL Sean Harlow
DE Austin Larkin
S Ronald Martin (Released)
LB Chase Middleton
DE Durrant Miles
C Chandler Miller
CB Jalen Myrick
CB Ryan Neal
DE Chris Odom
TE Logan Paulsen (Released)
LB Del’Shawn Phillips (Waived/injury settlement)
OT Jaelin Robinson
CB Jayson Stanley (Waived/injury settlement)
K Giorgio Tavecchio
DT Jacob Tuioti-Mariner
K Blair Walsh (Released)
OL John Wetzel (Released)
WR C.J. Worton
DT Justin Zimmer

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