Josh Scobee

Josh Scobee To Retire

Longtime NFL kicker Josh Scobee is retiring. The 34-year-old announced Friday that he’s going to sign a one-day contract with the Jaguars on April 13 and officially call it quits (Twitter link).

Josh Scobee

Scobee spent nearly all of his career in Jacksonville, which selected him in the fifth round of the 2004 draft. He stayed with the team through the 2014 campaign and became the franchise’s all-time leading scorer during his 11-year tenure. Scobee was so effective at one point that the Jaguars placed the franchise tag on him in 2012, which came after he connected on 23 of 25 field goal attempts the previous season. In the aggregate, Scobee was accurate on 235 of 291 field goals as a Jag (80.1 percent).

Scobee’s time in Jacksonville ended when it traded him to the Steelers in advance of the 2015 season. He only lasted six games in Pittsburgh, where he missed four of 10 field goals in what will go down as his last NFL action. Scobee had a two-month stint last offseason with the Saints, who released him in May, and then turned down an offer to audition for the then-kicker-needy Giants in August.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants To Audition Kickers

MONDAY, 12:02pm: The Giants are also scheduled to work out punter/kicker Randy Bullock, a source tells Josina Anderson of ESPN.com tweets. Bullock is not a vested veteran, so he could be a viable one-game fill-in for Brown, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com tweets.

Veteran Josh Scobee was also invited to the Giants‘ kicker workout, but had to turn down an invitation because of another commitment at the same time, a source tells Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

SUNDAY, 8:18pm: Giants head coach Ben McAdoo said “never say never” when asked earlier today about the possibility of his club signing another kicker, and New York will in fact work out several kickers tomorrow, including Garrett Hartley, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link).Garrett Hartley (Vertical)

[RELATED: Giants among 10 potential suitors for Karlos Williams]

Incumbent kicker Josh Brown is suspended for the season opener following a 2015 domestic violence arrest, and it’s unclear if the Giants are considering moving on from him, especially given that more serious details have emerged about Brown’s history of violence against his ex-wife. Fellow kicker Tom Obarski, meanwhile was given a “golden opportunity” — McAdoo’s words — to scratch out a role with New York, but he missed a 28-yard field goal attempt in the club’s most recent preseason game.

Hartley, 30, spent five season with the Saints and last kicked for the Browns during a short stint in 2014. He was out of the league in 2015, but he was a part of workouts with the Lions, Jets, and Patriots after spending the preseason with the Steelers, and owns a 81.7% career accuracy rate. La Canfora’s report didn’t list the other kickers who will be involved in Monday’s tryout, but Josh Scobee and Randy Bullock are among the other free agent specialists available.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints Release Josh Scobee

The Saints have released kicker Josh Scobee, tweets Evan Woodbery of NOLA.com. Additionally, they’ve cut offensive tackle Bryan Witzmann and made the previously reported signing of undrafted cornerback Jimmy Pruitt official.

It was a short stay in New Orleans for Scobee, who joined the club in early March. The 33-year-old spent his first 11 NFL seasons in Jacksonville before the Steelers acquired him prior to the 2015 campaign. Scobee’s time in Pittsburgh only lasted four regular-season games, during which he missed four field goals (all from between 40 to 49 yards) and an extra point while dealing with a hip flexor.

With Scobee out of the picture, the Saints’ only signed kicker is Kai Forbath, though they had several options – including veteran Connor Barth – try out at rookie camp last week.

Witzmann, who went undrafted out of South Dakota State in 2014 and joined the Saints’ practice squad last year, has never appeared in an NFL game. Pruitt, meanwhile, totaled four interceptions during his career as a four-year starter at San Jose State.

Saints Sign Josh Scobee

The Saints have reached an agreement with free agent kicker Josh Scobee, signing him to a contract, as Evan Woodbery of the Times-Picayune writes. Scobee himself first broke word of the deal in a Facebook post.Josh Scobee

[RELATED: Saints release Marques Colston]

“Excited to announce that I’ve signed with the New Orleans Saints!” Scobee wrote. “Pumped for this opportunity!”

Scobee, 33, served as the Jaguars’ kicker for his first 11 NFL seasons, but was traded to the Steelers prior to the 2015 campaign to replace Shaun Suisham, who tore his ACL last summer. Scobee’s time in Pittsburgh only lasted four regular-season games, during which he missed four field goals (all from between 40-49 yards) and an extra point. He was cut last October and replaced by Chris Boswell.

After dealing with a hip flexor last season, Scobee is healthy now and signed a one-year, minimum-salary contract with New Orleans, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). The deal comes about a month after the Saints brought in the longtime Jaguar for a workout.

While Scobee is currently the only kicker under contract with the Saints, the team has undergone plenty of changes at the position in recent years, and will likely bring in competition. One possibility is Kai Forbath, who finished the 2015 season as New Orleans’ kicker. A report earlier this week indicated that the Saints were interested in re-signing Forbath.

Photo courtest of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Forte, Raji, Cowboys, Bears, Bucs

Soon-to-be ex-Bears running back Matt Forte will be “lucky” to get more than $4MM annually on his next contract, sources tell Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Forte, 30, was informed earlier today that he won’t be re-signed by Chicago, so he’ll be looking for a new club when free agency begins month.

That new club could be in New York, writes Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post, as either the Jets or Giants could show interest in Forte. The Jets have far less cap space (as Seth Walder of the New York Daily News noted earlier today), but more of a need at running back, as Chris Ivory is expected to move on. The Giants, meanwhile, possess a great deal of cap room, but aren’t as good a fit for Forte.

Let’s take a look at more from around the league:

  • Packers defensive lineman B.J. Raji called the new three-year deal signed by teammate Letroy Guion “well-deserved,” but admitted he’s not sure if – or how – it affects his potential future with the team, writes Ryan Wood of PackersNews.com. Green Bay has not yet initiated contract talks for Raji, the free-agent-to-be tells Wood.
  • The Cowboys‘ extensive search for Jerome Henderson‘s replacement continues, as Alex Marvez of FOX Sports tweets that Dallas interviewed Buccaneers cornerbacks coach Gill Byrd for the team’s defensive backs coach position. Byrd joins Mike Gillhamer, Steve Brown, Joe Baker, Tim Lewis, and Mike Nolan as candidates who have spoken to the Cowboys about the secondary coach job.
  • Former Rutgers offensive coordinator Ben McDaniels is headed back to the NFL, as he’ll join the Bears‘ offensive staff, per Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated (no word on McDaniels’ official title). McDaniels, the brother of Patriots play-caller Josh McDaniels, had previously worked with both the Buccaneers and the Broncos.
  • The Buccaneers seem intent on bringing in competition for kicker Connor Barth, as Tampa worked out Josh Scobee, Nate Freese, Mike Meyer, and Cameron Starke today, tweets Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. Barth converted 23-of-28 field goal attempts in 2015, with two of those misses coming from beyond 50 yards.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

NFC South Notes: Brees, Tolbert, Scobee, Bucs

Saints quarterback Drew Brees has just one year left on his contract, and is set to count for $30MM on New Orleans’ 2016 cap, meaning it’s essentially inevitable that the two sides will discuss an extension at some point this winter. So far though, negotiations between the quarterback and the team haven’t gotten underway, Brees said today during an appearance on ESPN (link via Christopher Dabe of NOLA.com).

“If conversations are to be had, they haven’t happened yet,” Brees said. “But when they do that will be between us, and then we’ll kind of announce that, and everybody will find out at the same time.”

Brees, who said on The Dan Patrick Show today that he expects to remain in New Orleans for the rest of his career, will have $10.85MM of his base salary for 2016 become fully guaranteed next week.

Here’s more from out of the NFC South:

  • Asked this week about his pending free agency, fullback Mike Tolbert said he hopes this Sunday’s game isn’t his last with the Panthers, adding that he “absolutely” wants to re-sign with the team, per Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. “These guys are my brothers,” Tolbert said. “I don’t want to leave any more than the next guy. But I have to do what’s best for my family and for me. If moving is part of it, then that’s a part of it. But I don’t want to.”
  • Veteran kicker Josh Scobee had a tryout with the Saints on Wednesday, but didn’t sign a contract, a source tells Pro Football Talk (Twitter link). The longtime Jaguars kicker was acquired in a trade by the Steelers in September, but struggled during his brief stint in Pittsburgh, missing four field goals and an extra point in four games. He was cut in October.
  • The Buccaneers have plenty of cap room at their disposal this offseason, but Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap is skeptical that they’ll use a big chunk of it, as he explains in his preview of Tampa Bay’s offseason.

Extra Points: Pettine, Scobee, Hayne

Earlier this week, Browns coach Mike Pettine said Russell Wilson wasn’t in the top tier of quarterbacks. On Friday, the Seahawks responded.

Defensive end Michael Bennett was quite vocal about Pettine’s comments, questioning the coach’s ability to evaluate quarterbacks. In particular, Bennett was trashing the team’s handling of Johnny Manziel, who the Seahawks will face off against this Sunday.

“Obviously he’s not good at picking quarterbacks,” Bennett said during an interview on 710 ESPN Seattle (via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com). “Maybe he doesn’t know what elite is. I think that Russell Wilson is very elite. He’s been to two Super Bowls. It’s only his fourth year. I don’t think a lot of guys can say that.

“There’s a lot of guys with a lot of passing yards that haven’t had any success and don’t even go to the playoffs, like Philip Rivers and guys like that. Drew Brees hasn’t been to the playoffs in two years. So Russell Wilson is definitely an elite quarterback, and he can lead a team. … I think Russell Wilson has done a great job of proving that he is up there at the top tier of players.”

Let’s take a look at some more assorted notes from around the league…

  • After spending more than a decade with the Jaguars, kicker Josh Scobee was traded to the Steelers this past offseason. Despite the surprising move, the 33-year-old wasn’t angry at his former team. “I was very fortunate to have been here for 11 years, and I’m happy I was here that long,” he told Garry Smits of Jacksonville.com. “I’ve never had any animosity to the team. I understand the business end of it and I’m looking forward to the next stage of his career. I’m always going to be a Jaguar at heart.”
  • The veteran only lasted four games in Pittsburgh, as the squad cut him loose following an inconsistent start to the year. Scobee blamed his issues on a pair of muscle injuries in his kicking leg, but he acknowledged that he expects to play next season. “I’m just now healthy enough to where I’m open to going to a new team,” he said. “No one really knew about it [the injuries] because I just didn’t talk about it. After I got released, I didn’t talk about it.” The kicker said he’s been in contact with eight teams.
  • Former rugby star Jarryd Hayne hasn’t had the best rookie campaign, as three fumbles led to him being demoted to the 49ers practice squad. Still, the running back has been pleased with his progress. “It’s definitely been a great year. I overachieved what I ever expected,” Hayne told Chris Biderman of the Associated Press. “I think what people don’t realize that every day for me is like a month to everyone else because of the way I pick things up and the way I learn…I just feel like in these short six weeks that I’ve been on the practice squad, I learned so much. There was two weeks where I literally took every single rep in the look-card squad. That was huge. The most reps I took in a row (before that) was probably three or four.”

Workout Notes: Saints, Seahawks, Jaguars

Today’s workouts from around the NFL..

  • The Jets worked out defensive end Lawrence Okoye, Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com tweets. Okoye, a former University of Kentucky discus hurler, had previous stops with the 49ers and Cardinals.

Earlier updates:

Kicker Notes: Scobee, Brindza, Sturgis

Some nuggets regarding three kickers who had terrible showings in Week 4 of the NFL season:

  • Although recently released Josh Scobee missed four kicks in four games with Pittsburgh – including two in its 23-20 loss to Baltimore on Thursday – he’s drawing interest from around the league. Three teams have reached out to him, tweets CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, who notes that Scobee will need a few weeks to recover from a quad strain.
  • Buccaneers kicker Kyle Brindza has missed seven kicks (five field goals, two extra points) over the last two weeks, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that he’s likely to find himself on the unemployment line in the coming days.
  • Like Brindza, Eagles kicker Caleb Sturgis could also be looking for work soon. Sturgis, whom the Eagles signed this week to replace the injured Cody Parkey, had an ignominious debut Sunday in the team’s 23-20 loss to Washington. Sturgis missed a pair of 33-yarders (including a point after) and might not be in an Eagles uniform come next Sunday, per Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Steelers Sign Chris Boswell

1:47pm: Boswell’s deal runs for two years, with the Steelers retaining his rights through the end of 2016, according to Caplan (on Twitter). Although he’s obviously no lock to make it to the end of 2016, considering the volatile status of this spot.

1:35pm: Pittsburgh made it official in cutting Scobee and signing Boswell, per CBSSports.com’s Jason La Canfora (Twitter link). The Steelers will now have more than $6MM worth of commitments to kickers no longer on the active roster, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter).

12:04pm: The Steelers are set to sign kicker Chris Boswell, reports ESPN’s Adam Caplan (via Twitter). It’s uncertain what the signing will mean for incumbent kicker Josh Scobee, who missed a pair of crucial field goals on Thursday night. As Caplan notes in a separate tweet, Boswell will be the team’s fourth kicker this season, as Shaun Suisham and Garrett Hartley are both on the injured reserve.

Boswell has yet to make an NFL appearance after going undrafted out of Rice in 2014. He previously spent time on both the Texans and Giants practice squad. During his four seasons at Rice, the 25-year-old converted 51 of his 67 field goal attempts and 117 of 123 extra point chances.

Scobee was traded to Pittsburgh this offseason after having spent his entire career with the Jaguars. The 2004 fifth-round pick has made over 80-percent of his field goal attempts during his career, which is 23rd among active kickers. In his first season with the Steelers, Scobee has made six of ten field goal attempts and six of his seven extra point chances.