The Jets recently signed kicker Chris Naggar as part of a 12-man UDFA class, and head coach Robert Saleh said Naggar has a real chance to win the team’s kicking competition (Twitter link via Connor Hughes of The Athletic). Special teams coordinator Brant Boyer is said to be particularly excited about Naggar’s potential.
New York used three kickers last season: Sam Ficken, Sergio Castillo, and Chase McLaughlin. Ficken opened the 2020 season with the kicking job, but he missed six games due to injury. Castillo, Ficken’s first replacement, ended up converting just eight of 13 FG attempts, and the Jets turned to McLaughlin for the final game of the year. But, as a result of the Naggar addition, the club recently waived McLaughlin.
Ficken was retained for the 2021 campaign via a reserve/futures contract, but it sounds like he will need to beat out a rookie to keep his job. The Penn State product was not very good for Gang Green in 2019, connecting on 70.4% of his FG tries, but he was much better in his nine contests last year. He sank 13 of 15 tries (86.4%), though he did miss three PATs in 15 attempts.
Naggar, who started his collegiate career at Texas before transferring to SMU, hit 17 of 21 field goal attempts (81%) and 43 of 46 PATs (93.5%) in 2020.
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