Joey Slye

49ers To Sign Joey Slye, Place Robbie Gould On IR

The 49ers have agreed to sign kicker Joey Slye (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). The veteran kicker will fill in for Robbie Gould, who will miss some period of time with a groin injury. Gould will miss at least three games. The 49ers placed him on IR Tuesday, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter), and will move Slye into his roster spot.

The 49ers scratched their longtime kicker just before kickoff Sunday and were forced to use punter Mitch Wishnowsky in double duty. Wishnowsky missed an extra point and a field goal in San Francisco’s loss to Seattle and will give way to a more experienced kicker in Week 5.

Slye, 26, spent some time with the Texans this year, pinch-kicking for Ka’imi Fairbairn. He wound up completing four of his five field goals while going 7-for-8 on extra points. Previously to that, he was with the Panthers, succeeding Graham Gano as the starting kicker in 2019 and keeping the gig through 2020. He improved a bit during his second full season, connecting on 29 of his 36 field goal attempts and 33 of his 36 extra point tries.

His first game with the 49ers will come this week against the Cardinals. This will be Slye’s third team in 2021; Gould, 38, has been San Francisco’s kicker since 2017. He is attached to a four-year, $19MM contract that runs through next season.

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49ers Work Out Kickers

The 49ers are looking at a group of kickers to potentially fill in for Robbie Gould. Michael Badgley, Brett Maher, and Joey Slye are among those auditioning while the team awaits word on Gould’s groin injury (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero).

[RELATED: 49ers Meet With Mychal Kendricks]

Badgley kicked in 34 Chargers games over the past three years but could not beat out the younger Tristan Vizcaino, in training camp. He had a recent cup of coffee with the Titans but that only lasted for a few days. He made nearly 94% of his attempts as a rookie in 2018 — including a 59-yarder — but saw that number dip to 72.7% in 2020.

Slye saw a brief stint as the Texans’ kicker this year, going 4-for-5 on field goals in three games. He was later released as Ka’imi Fairbairn‘s returned to action.

During his time in Dallas, Maher became the first kicker in NFL history to make three 60-plus-yard field goals, accomplishing this feat during the 2018 and ’19 seasons. However, after he made more than 80% of his field goals in 2018, Maher was just 20-for-30 a year later. He did not kick in 2020 and he did not make the Saints’ cut this summer, but he could have a chance to return in SF.

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Texans Waive K Joey Slye

Joey Slye‘s initial stint as the Texans’ kicker will end after three games. The Texans waived the young specialist Thursday, clearing the way for Ka’imi Fairbairn‘s return.

Houston stashed Fairbairn on IR to start the season. After three games, the team designated its longtime kicker to return. Fairbairn, who has been the Texans’ kicker since 2017, suffered a hamstring injury while warming up for Houston’s preseason finale.

The Texans picked up Slye shortly after the Panthers waived him. Slye is 4-for-5 in field goals to start his third season and 7-for-8 on extra points. The Panthers cut him to go with trade acquisition Ryan Santoso, but the team moved on from Santoso after one game. Zane Gonzalez currently serves as Carolina’s kicker.

Should Slye pass through waivers unclaimed, he could return to Houston’s practice squad. While only six teams currently carry an extra kicker on their taxi squad, the Texans opted for this strategy to start the season. The Texans initially added Slye on a P-squad deal before promoting him ahead of Week 1, though they did so knowing Fairbairn was set to miss time.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/22/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Dallas Cowboys

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: LB Keanu Neal; as a high-risk close contact, per The Athletic’s Jon Machota (on Twitter), Neal can return after a five-day isolation period

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/18/21

The customary Saturday minor moves avalanche:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

  • Promoted: WR DeMichael Harris

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Texans To Promote K Joey Slye From Practice Squad

Joey Slye is the Texans starting kicker … at least for the time being. The team will elevate the kicker from their practice squad today, reports Aaron Wilson (via Twitter).

Slye joined Houston’s practice squad earlier this week, and today’s move seemed all but inevitable when starting kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn landed on injured reserve. Per Wilson, Slye secured his spot as the Week 1 starter following a good week at practice, and the 25-year-old established a good rapport with long snapper Jon Weeks and holder Cameron Johnston.

Slye succeeded Graham Gano as the Panthers starting kicker in 2019, and he kept the gig through the 2020 season. The kicker improved a bit during his second full season, connecting on 29 of his 36 field goal attempts and 33 of his 36 extra point tries. After Carolina added Gano’s Giants camp competitor (Ryan Santoso) via trade, Slye landed on the waiver wire in late August and went unclaimed.

While Slye will temporarily hold the starting gig, he doesn’t have a firm grasp on the job. The organization signed Fairbairn to a four-year extension in 2020, and he’ll likely reclaim his gig once he recovers from a pulled muscle. The team also recently worked out ex-Chargers kicker Michael Badgley, so they have at least one backup plan if Slye struggles while Fairbairn is sidelined.

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Texans Add K Joey Slye To Practice Squad

Not long after working out Joey Slye, the Texans will bring him into the fold. The former Panthers kicker agreed to join the Texans on a practice squad deal Tuesday. To make room, Houston released defensive back Cornell Armstrong from its P-squad.

Slye operated as the Panthers’ primary kicker for the past two seasons, succeeding Graham Gano in that capacity. After Carolina added Gano’s Giants camp competitor (Ryan Santoso) via trade, Slye landed on the waiver wire. Unclaimed, the third-year specialist will end up in Houston.

Top Texans kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn is dealing with a pulled muscle, per Sports Talk 790’s Aaron Wilson (on Twitter), though he is still expected to kick in Houston’s opener. Slye, however, represents insurance and potential in-season competition for Fairbairn. He also stands to serve as an option for other teams in need. A team can poach Slye off Houston’s taxi squad at any point, if the Texans refuse to promote him to their active roster.

A Virginia Tech product, Slye made 29 of 36 field goals last season. Though, two of those misses came on fourth-quarter tries from 65 and 67 yards, respectively. The Texans also auditioned ex-Chargers kicker Michael Badgley. Fairbairn has been the Texans’ kicker since 2017. He signed an extension in 2020.

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Texans Work Out Michael Badgley, Joey Slye

The Texans auditioned free agent kickers Joey Slye and Michael Badgley, according to Aaron Wilson of Sports Talk 790. Current kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn is still expected to play against the Jaguars, but Slye or Badgley could get the call if any issues arise.

As evidenced by Matt Rhule trying 65- and 67-yard yard field goals against the Saints and Chiefs last season, Slye has one of the strongest legs in the NFL. This year, however, he lost out on the kicking competition. Over the last two years, he’s made 54-of-68 FGs while going 64-of-71 on XPs.

Badgley, meanwhile, has appeared in 36 games for the Chargers over the last three years. He’s nailed 52-of-65 of his field goal attempts with 82-of-86 extra points made.

In other Texans news, Tyrod Taylor will begin the year as the team’s starting quarterback. He’ll be backstopped by rookie Davis Mills while Deshaun Watson remains in professional limbo.

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Panthers Cut K Joey Slye, 6 Others

The Panthers are beginning to move their roster toward the 53-man limit. Shortly after the trade for Ryan Santoso, the team cut its incumbent kicker — Joey Slye — and six other players.

In addition to Carolina waiving Slye, the team cut safety Doug Middleton, tackle Martez Ivey, wide receiver Ishmael Hyman, linebacker Paddy Fisher and linebacker Jonathan Celestin. The Panthers waived running back Darius Clark with an injury designation. Of this crop, only Middleton is a vested veteran who can avoid the waiver wire.

[RELATED: Giants Trade Santoso To Panthers]

As evidenced by Matt Rhule trying 65- and 67-yard yard field goals against the Saints and Chiefs last season, Slye has one of the strongest legs in the NFL. His placement on the wire may affect another team’s kicking situation. The wire is currently determined by 2020 record, so the Jaguars and Jets will have the first crack at the young kicker.

Slye, 25, kicked for the Panthers for the past two seasons. He replaced Graham Gano in Carolina. Gano is now with the Giants, who ended up delivering the Panthers Slye’s replacement in Santoso. Slye did miss seven field goals last season, though two of them came from beyond 65 yards. The Virginia Tech product also missed seven tries (25-for-32) in 2019, when he took over for an injured Gano.

A five-year veteran, Middleton played in 10 games with the Jaguars last season as a backup. The Panthers’ roster currently sits at 71 players.

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Giants K Ryan Santoso Generating Trade Interest

The Giants might be able to finagle a draft pick out of a kicker who has not attempted a field goal or extra point in a regular season NFL game. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, teams have called the Giants to discuss a trade for Ryan Santoso, who is blocked by Graham Gano in New York but whom other clubs believe is an NFL-caliber kicker (Twitter link).

Santoso signed with the Lions as a UDFA in 2018, and he has also spent time with the Titans and the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes. He appeared in three games for Tennessee in 2019 and was deployed as a kickoff specialist during that stretch. He handled 17 kickoffs, nine of which went for touchbacks, before being waived.

Last year, he bounced on and off the Giants’ practice squad and active roster, and he signed a reserve/futures deal in January. During his first two years as a collegian at Minnesota, he served as the Golden Gophers’ primary placekicker. He switched to punter for the final two years of his college career, and while his versatility could be an asset, it appears that his primary focus at this time is on his placekicking abilities. Though he had just one XP attempt (which was successful) in New York’s preseason opener last week, he has reportedly performed well in training camp.

The Patriots’ Nick Folk is dealing with an injury, and UDFA rookie Quinn Nordin struggled mightily in the team’s second preseason game on Thursday. As such, New England might be one of the clubs inquiring on Santoso, and the Joe Judge-Pats connection could obviously help facilitate a deal. The Giants’ Meadowlands rivals, the Jets, are currently rostering just one PK, Matt Ammendola, who went undrafted in 2020 and who signed with the Panthers in May of this year before being waived and hooking on with Gang Green. The Jets, therefore, profile as another possible landing spot.

Carolina could also have interest. Joey Slye, who has operated as the team’s placekicker over the past two years, missed his third kick of the preseason in last night’s loss to Baltimore, and head coach Matt Rhule did not mince words after the game.

“You have to produce and so far, Joey has not produced at the level we need him to,” Rhule said (via Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk). “I think he would be the first guy to say that. We have to find a way to get over that hump with him.”

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