Chandler Catanzaro

Jets K Chandler Catanzaro Retires

Jets K Chandler Catanzaro, 28, has retired, according to a team announcement. To take his place on the roster, the club has signed K Taylor Bertolet.

Catanzaro’s job was clearly in jeopardy after he missed a pair of extra points in the Jets’ preseason opener. It was reported yesterday that New York would be bringing in kickers Blair Walsh and Chris Blewitt for tryouts, and the Jets are said to still be interested in Ravens’ kicker Kaare Vedvik, who also caught their eye last summer.

In addition to his difficulties in the first preseason game, Catanzaro had apparently struggled in camp as well. Perhaps he saw the writing on the wall and elected to leave the game on his terms rather than being cut.

Catanzaro, a Clemson product, signed with the Cardinals as a UDFA in 2014 and won Arizona’s kicking competition that year. His first two seasons in the league were quite promising, as he nailed 87.9% of his kicks in his rookie campaign and 90.3% in 2015. But his success rate dipped to 75% in 2016, and he signed with the Jets in March 2017. He experienced something of a bounceback in his first stint with Gang Green, converting 83.3% of his kicks and all of his PATs, and he signed a three-year deal with the Buccaneers last offseason. Tampa Bay released him after he missed two field goals in a loss to the Redskins last November — he ultimately made just 73.3% of his kicks with the Bucs — and he caught on with the Panthers for the last few games of the season.

The Jets saw Jason Myers turn in a Pro Bowl effort last year, but they lost Myers to free agency in March and hoped that Catanzaro would be an adequate replacement. Obviously, that did not turn out to be the case, though as Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News tweets, the Jets could at least recoup Catanzaro’s $500K signing bonus if they so choose.

Bertolet was with the Jets last summer and performed well, but he has no regular season experience.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Auditioning K Blair Walsh

Chandler Catanzaro‘s hold on the Jets kicking gig is on shaky ground. Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News writes that the team will be auditioning a number of kickers today, including former All-Pro Blair Walsh. Chris Blewitt will also work out for the team.

Walsh broke onto the scene as a rookie with the Vikings in 2012, setting an NFL single-season record with 10 field goals made from at least 50 yards. However, the kicker had shaky seasons in 2014 and 2016, leading to his release from Minnesota. He caught on with Seattle during the 2017 season, connecting on 21 of his 29 field goal attempts. He also missed a crucial field goal during that season’s wild card round, and he subsequently sat out the 2018 campaign.

After playing for the Jets in 2017, Catanzaro signed with the team again this past March. The veteran had an inconsistent 2018 campaign that was split between the Panthers and Buccaneers, and Mehta writes that Catanzaro had been shaky throughout camp. He struggled a bit during the Jets’ preseason opener, missing a pair of extra points. That caught the eye of head coach Adam Gase, who talked about the possibility of adding competition.

“I don’t think there’s ever a downside to creating competition,” Gase said. “Where we’re at right now going through the spring, there’s been some really good moments where there’s been some consistency there. We just need to kind of get back to our rhythm with the snapper, holder, kicker.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets To Stick With Chandler Catanzaro

The Jets are sticking with kicker Chandler Catanzaro – for now. The free agent import has had a rocky training camp, but head coach Adam Gase says the team is not looking to bringing in another leg at this time (via Manish Mehta of the Daily News). 

He had a really good spring,” Gase said. “That’s a part of training camp. You start working through things. Sometimes that happens. We got an experienced guy that’s had success. So, this group feels good about what he’s done in the past and what he’s done in this organization before and what he’s done out here starting the spring. We evaluate not just training camp … We got to use all our information that we’ve gathered since the spring.”

Given Catanzaro’s struggles, it’s hard not to question the Jets’ decision to allow Pro Bowler Jason Myers to walk in free agency. Myers set an NFL record with five field goals from 55+ yards out and tied Gang Green’s all-time record with 91.7% field goal accuracy.

This year, Myers inked a four-year deal with the Seahawks, and the Jets replaced him with Catanzaro, who hasn’t been kicking at a truly elite level since his stellar 2015 season in Arizona.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Vaccaro, Callahan, Okafor

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed NFL contracts, with all links going to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle’s Twitter account:

Jets To Sign K Chandler Catanzaro

The Jets have found their kicker. Brian Costello of the New York Post reports (via Twitter) that the team has signed veteran Chandler Catanzaro.

It’s a reunion of sorts for Catanzaro, who spent the 2017 campaign with the Jets. He ended up parlaying his solid performance into a three-year deal with the Buccaneers last offseason, but he struggled during his brief stint with Tampa Bay. The 28-year-old ended up only connecting on 73.3-percent of his field goal attempts and 85.2-percent of his extra point attempts before being released by the team in November.

Catanzaro ended up catching on with the Panthers for the stretch run. In four games, the kicker converted all five of his field goal attempts and seven of his eight extra point attempts.

Veteran kicker Jason Myers appeared in all 16 games for the Jets in 2018. The 27-year-old ended up agreeing to a four-year deal with the Seahawks earlier this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers Sign K Chandler Catanzaro

The Panthers signed former Bucs kicker Chandler Catanzaro, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Catanzaro will serve as insurance for kicker Graham Gano, who was limited in practice on Thursday. 

To make room for Catanzaro, the Panthers placed guard Amini Silatolu on IR with a knee injury. The 30-year-old has been dealing with a concussion and doctors were unable to clear him before this week’s contest against the Browns. Silatolu appeared in 47 games and made 31 starts between 2012-2017 for the Panthers, but saw time in just six games this year as a reserve.

Catanzaro got the boot from the Bucs in November, one day after he missed two of three field goal attempts against the Redskins. At the time, Catanzaro said that he was working to identify the issue.

I’m trying to find (the reason for the misses),” Catanzaro said after sending two of his tries wide right in the 16-3 loss. “The ball is just not going through the yellow poles right now. It’s got to do that. I’m not sure (what’s wrong). I just try to take it one kick at a time. … Something’s wrong, and I’ve done my best to fix it, and up until now, it hasn’t been fixed.”

So far, the veteran has a subpar 73.3% conversion rate on field goal tries and four missed extra point attempts on the year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers Work Out Caleb Sturgis, Chandler Catanzaro, Others

Graham Gano has been the Panthers’ kicker since 2012, and he’s made 13 of 15 field goal attempts this season. But he’s run into trouble recently, and those issues have overlapped with Carolina’s three-game losing streak.

The Panthers are exploring other options. They brought in kickers Chandler Catanzaro, Caleb Sturgis, Sam Ficken and Matt McCrane for workouts Tuesday, Sirius XM Radio’s Adam Caplan tweets.

Gano missed a go-ahead 52-yard field goal in Carolina’s loss to Seattle on Sunday and missed an extra point, one of the three he’s misfired on this season, in a one-point loss in Detroit in Week 11. For the season, the 31-year-old specialist is 28-for-31 on PATs. He missed three extra points in each of the past three seasons.

Sturgis and Catanzaro saw the Chargers and Buccaneers, respectively, replace them midway through this season. Ficken served as Greg Zuerlein‘s injury replacement, but the Rams cut him prior to Zuerlein recovering; Ficken missed 2 of 3 field goal tries. McCrane went to camp with the Cardinals and received a four-game opportunity with the Raiders. Said opportunity included four missed field goals.

Carolina and Gano agreed to terms on a four-year contract in March. It would cost the Panthers more than $5MM in dead money to cut Gano now. At $4.25MM AAV, Gano is the second-highest-paid kicker in the game.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Buccaneers Cut K Chandler Catanzaro

The Buccaneers have cut kicker Chandler Catanzaro, according to Jenna Laine of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The move comes one day after Catanzaro missed two of his three field goal attempts in a loss to the Redskins. 

I’m trying to find (the reason for the misses),” Catanzaro said after sending two of his tries wide right in the 16-3 loss. “The ball is just not going through the yellow poles right now. It’s got to do that. I’m not sure (what’s wrong). I just try to take it one kick at a time. … Something’s wrong, and I’ve done my best to fix it, and up until now, it hasn’t been fixed.”

Mired in a three-game losing streak, the Bucs were not interested in waiting for Catanzaro to fix the problem. Catanzaro’s rough day against Washington left him with a subpar 73.3% conversion rate on field goal tries and his previous four misses extra point attempts surely did not help matters.

The Bucs do not have a kicker on the practice squad, so they’ll have to sign someone new before Sunday’s game against the Giants.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Buccaneers Audition Three Kickers

The Buccaneers brought Nick Rose in for a workout, but he’s not the only kicker on their radar. The Bucs are also auditioning Joey Slye and Drew Brown on Friday, according to Greg Auman and Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter links).

[RELATED: Buccaneers Work Out Nick Rose]

The good news for Chandler Catanzaro is that the workouts are not tied to his two missed field goals on Thursday night, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears. The Bucs actually scheduled the workouts earlier this week, after the team waived No. 2 kicker Trevor Moore. In theory, one kicker from this trio may have a shot at the job, but it sounds like they would be brought in as camp competition more than anything.

Slye, a Virginia Tech product, was invited to join the Bucs for their rookie minicamp this year, but opted to go to attend other minicamps instead. Brown, who played at Nebraska, is the younger brother of former NFL kicker Kris Brown, who had a 12-year career with the Steelers, Texans and Chargers.

Catanzaro’s three-year deal includes $3.75MM in guarantees, so it would take a heck of a performance from another kicker plus a serious cold streak from Catanzaro for the Bucs to make a change.

Bucs To Work Out Nick Rose

The Buccaneers will work out kicker Nick Rose on Friday, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. Rose could be competition for Chandler Catanzaro, who had an iffy night on Thursday. 

In the Bucs’ preseason opener against the Dolphins, Catanzaro missed an extra point attempt and a 53-yard field goal try. That may have been cause for concern for the Bucs after they signed him to a three-year, $9.75MM deal this offseason.

Rose sank 10-of-11 field goals and 18-of-20 extra points in eight games for the Redskins last year before he was dropped for the returning Dustin Hopkins. Later, Rose hooked on with the Chargers, where he went 1-for-3 on field goal tries and made 5-of-6 extra points in two games. In total, Rose made 78.6% of his field goal attempts. Catanzaro, meanwhile, converted 25-of-30 field goal tries (83.3%) and converted on all of his XPs for the Jets.

The decision to try out Rose after one so-so preseason game from Catanzaro may seem like an overreaction, but the Bucs are paying special attention to the place kicker position because of their history. Over the last two years, Roberto AguayoNick Folk, and Patrick Murray all struggled to hold down the role. Football Outsiders ranked the Bucs 30th in the NFL last year with -13.2 points created on field goals and extra points.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.