The Falcons had one of the most stable kicking situations in the league until this year. Matt Bryant had been the team’s kicker for the past ten seasons before they finally decided to move on and cut him back in February. The team had Giorgio Tavecchio all set to replace him, but Tavecchio has faltered during the preseason. In response, Atlanta went out and signed Blair Walsh to provide some competition for him. Now we’ve learned Walsh wasn’t the only kicker they kicked the tires on.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn said the team discussed bringing Bryant back before ultimately going with Walsh, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link). In a separate tweet, Ledbetter notes that Quinn said it will be an open competition now between Tavecchio and Walsh. Bryant has kicked in the league since 2002, but the 44-year-old has been unable to find a new gig. He made the Pro Bowl in 2016 and was usually a reliable option, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Falcons reach back out midseason if whoever they roll with to start the year slips up.
Here’s more from the NFC:
- Speaking of kicking controversies, it sounds like the Vikings might have one on their hands. Minnesota traded a fifth-round pick to the Ravens for Kaare Vedvik, seemingly putting the issue to rest. Vedvik then missed his first two field goal attempts as a Viking in their most recent preseason game, prompting head coach Mike Zimmer to say he has a “high” level of concern about the position, per Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com. “I honestly don’t know” what the team will do now, Zimmer said. “Since we brought Vedvik in, Wile has been punting good and Bailey has been kicking good, and then Vedvik goes out there and misses field goals. I don’t know. I’m at a loss on that.” Vedvik was initially expected to handle both punting and kicking duties, and now it sounds like he might not even make the team. Dan Bailey seemed like he was soon to be out of a job last week, but he’s been given new life now. This will be a situation to monitor during the team’s fourth and final preseason game.
- The Cardinals signed receiver Michael Crabtree a few days ago, and now we have the details on his contract. Crabtree got a one-year deal worth $3.25MM that can be upped to $5.5MM if he hits incentives, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Crabtree originally visited with the Cards weeks ago, but a potential deal was called off over a disagreement about compensation. Arizona reportedly offered him a one-year, $2.5MM deal the first time around, so they upped their offer by $750K in base value.
- In case you missed it, Lions starting linebacker Jarrad Davis will miss some regular season time with a high ankle sprain.