Eddy Pineiro

Kicking Struggles In New York With Pineiro And Zuerlein

The Jets finished last in the AFC East last season. While they did rank 28th in offensive yardage in the league and finished dead last in yards allowed, they got no help from their kicking game as the team converted only 77.78% of its field goal attempts and 85.19% of its extra points. According to Connor Hughes at The Athletic, things haven’t looked much better for Gang Green this offseason. 

Last season saw the NFL debut of Oklahoma State undrafted kicker Matt Ammendola as he began the year as New York’s primary kicker. While he didn’t get a chance to score in Week 1, since the Jets went for two-point conversions on each of their two touchdowns, he did contribute with six punts for 291 total yards after starting punter Braden Mann sprained his knee after his first punt of the season. Ammendola would go on to man the kicking position for the first 12 weeks of the season, missing 1 of 15 extra points and converting 13 of 19 field goals along the way. He was perfect from 39 yards and in, but only 2 for 5 in the 40-49 yard range and missed all three attempts over 50 yards. After a rough two-week stretch that saw him miss 3 of 6 field goals, Ammendola was waived and placed on the practice squad after going unclaimed.

The Jets then brought in former Gators kicker Eddy Pineiro, who was the primary kicker for the entire season for the Bears two years ago. Pineiro added some stability to the kicking game, converting all eight of his field goals attempts but did miss one extra point. He even converted the Jets first and only 50+ yard field goal of the season in order to give the Jets a three-point lead over the Buccaneers going into halftime.

New York entered the offseason with Ammendola and Pineiro, but decided late into March that they wanted to bring in a veteran presence in Greg Zuerlein. Greg the Leg spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Rams, joining the Cowboys two years ago as Dallas’s primary kicker. Mr. the Leg has seen varying success throughout his career spanning from a 2015 season in which he missed a third of his kicks to a 2017 All-Pro season that saw his miss only 2 of an attempted 40. He is known as a kicker of great distance. Despite only converting 55.07% of his field goal attempts over 50 yards, his longest converted field goal of the season has routinely been above 54 yards, with two seasons entering into the 60+ yard range.

Three days after bringing in Zuerlein, New York waived Ammendola, leaving the kicking competition to be settled by Zuerlein or Pineiro. The Jets special teams coordinator Brant Boyer has described the race between the two as “tight,” claiming Pineiro and Zuerlein are “neck and neck.” Unfortunately, the competition is so close because neither kicker has made a strong case to be awarded the position over the other.

Boyer will have to make a decision at some point, but he’s likely hoping Pineiro or Zuerlein will make the decision for him by stepping up to take the role. Hughes posits that, like many past seasons for Gang Green, New York’s Week 1 kicker might not even be on the roster yet.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/16/22

Here’s a look at the latest tender decisions from around the NFL:

RFAs

Tendered:

Non-tendered:

ERFAs

Tendered:

Jets To Sign Eddy Pineiro

Sounds like the Jets are moving on from Alex Kessman. After his two missed two extra points on Sunday, the Jets are signing kicker Eddy Pineiro, according to agent Drew Rosenhaus (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com). 

The Jets had an early lead over the Eagles when Kessman sent his second extra point wide left. Things only got worse from there as the Birds went on to win 33-18.

Just gotta make them,” Kessman said (via the New York Post). “It’s what I do for a living, and I gotta make those kicks. There’s no excuses…I gotta control what I can control. If they send me out there to kick, I go out there and kick. Doesn’t matter where from, what time. I go out there and do my job, and I didn’t do my job today. Plain and simple. … I’m not gonna let two kicks define me and the kicker I am.”

Gang Green will in fact hold him accountable for his missed XPs. Now, Pineiro will become the Jets’ ninth kicker since 2017.

Pineiro lost the Colts’ kicking competition this year and hasn’t seen live action since 2019. That year, spent with the Bears, he went 23-of-28 on field goals (82.1%) and 27-of-29 on XPs.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/3/21

Here are Friday’s practice squad moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Football Team

Colts Cut Eddy Pineiro

The Colts have cut kicker Eddy Pineiro (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com). That leaves Rodrigo Blankenship as Indy’s top leg moving forward and puts a decent kicker on the waiver wire just before the start of the season. 

Pineiro was perfect throughout the preseason but the Colts have decided to go in another direction. Pineiro joined the Colts back in May and seemed to have a real chance of unseating Blankenship. The UDFA out of Georgia was shaky throughout 2020, going just 1-of-3 from 50+ yards. Blankenship was supposed to be an accuracy kicker, but he also had a few critical misses from close range. To his credit, he did go 43 of 45 on extra point tries.

Pineiro appeared in all 16 of the Bears’ 2019 games, going 23-of-28 on field goals (82.1%) and 27-of-29 XPs. He’s perhaps best known for the trade that sent him from the Raiders to the Bears, furnishing Las Vegas with an extra seventh-round draft choice.

The rest of the league will have 24 hours to claim Pineiro. If he goes unclaimed, he’ll be free to sign with any club.

Colts To Sign K Eddy Pineiro

The Colts are adding some competition for Rodrigo Blankenship. Indianapolis is signing veteran kicker Eddy Pineiro, his agent Drew Rosenhaus told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Indy signed Blankenship as an UDFA out of Georgia last offseason, and he spent his entire rookie season as the team’s kicker. He was shaky at times, and didn’t have a very strong leg at all. He was just 1/3 on attempts from 50+ yards, and the Colts wouldn’t even think about letting him attempt an extra long one. Blankenship was supposed to be an accuracy kicker, and he made 43 of 45 extra point attempts, but he did have a few critical misses from close range.

In the Colts’ playoff loss to the Bills he missed a crucial 33-yard field goal attempt, so it’s not surprising that GM Chris Ballard is adding competition. Pineiro signed with the Raiders in 2018, but spent his entire rookie season on IR. He was traded to the Bears the next offseason, and was Chicago’s kicker for all 16 games in 2019, when he made 23 of 28 field goal attempts and 27 of 29 extra points. He spent all of 2020 on IR.

Colts Audition K Eddy Pineiro

The Colts are working out former Bears kicker Eddy Pineiro today (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter). If signed, Piniero will compete with Rodrigo Blankenship over the summer for the Colts’ kicking job.

Blankenship joined the Colts last year after nailing 27 of 33 field goals in his final season at Georgia. His 82.5% make rate over four years ranked as the best in program history and he went 200-for-200 on all of his extra point tries. He wasn’t quite as sharp from long range as a pro, missing four kicks from beyond the 40-yard mark. Still, he finished his rookie year with a 86.5% FG rate.

Pineiro, meanwhile, made just 82% of his field goals for the Bears in 2019. Then, he missed all of 2020 due to a groin injury and ceded the job to Cairo Santos.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/17/21

Today’s the deadline for teams to extend tender offers to their restricted free agents and exclusive rights free agents. We’ll keep tabs on the latest here:

RFAs

Tendered:

Non-Tendered: 

ERFAs

Tendered: 

Non-Tendered:

  • .

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/8/20

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

New England Patriots

Seattle Seahawks