Greg Zuerlein

Jets Sign K Greg Zuerlein

Greg the Leg has landed in the Big Apple. The Jets announced that they have signed veteran kicker Greg Zuerlein. It’s a one-year deal worth $2.75MM, according to Connor Hughes of The Athletic (via Twitter).

Zuerlein, 34, has managed to stick around the NFL for 10 seasons, coming into the league from a Division II school and playing eight years with the Rams. That included a 2017 campaign where the kicker earned All-Pro honors after converting 95 percent of his field goals (including six of seven from 50+) and 95.7 percent of his extra point tries.

Since that 2017 campaign, Zuerlein has converted only 81.4 percent of his field goals, and the 2021 season saw him miss a career-high six extra point attempts. As a result, the veteran was cut by the Cowboys earlier this month, saving the organization $2MM. According to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News (on Twitter), the veteran kicker had back surgery last offseason that “affected his swing,” so there’s some optimism Zuerlein can return to form in 2022.

The Jets relied on the duo of Eddy Pineiro and Matt Ammendola for kicking duties in 2021. The two players are still on the Jets roster, but their future outlook with the organization doesn’t look great following today’s transaction.

Cowboys Cut Greg Zuerlein, Blake Jarwin

The Cowboys continue to make cost-cutting moves. They are saying goodbye to their kicker and one of their tight ends, releasing Greg Zuerlein and waiving Blake Jarwin with an injury designation. The team announced the moves.

One year remained on Zuerlein’s $7.5MM deal; this move will create just more than $2MM in cap space for the Cowboys. Jarwin is eligible for injury protection, but cutting him will add a bit to Dallas’ cap space as well. The Cowboys waived Jarwin with an injury designation.

Jarwin, who signed an extension to stay in Dallas in 2020, underwent a hip surgery that has his 2022 availability in question. The six-year veteran has missed 24 games since signing that four-year, $22MM deal. Jarwin tore an ACL in September 2020 and encountered this hip trouble last season. During that span, Dalton Schultz has taken over as the Cowboys’ primary tight end. The Cowboys franchise-tagged Schultz this week.

Zuerlein, 34, has managed to stick around in the NFL for 10 seasons, coming into the league from a Division II school and playing eight years with the Rams. He struggled in 2021, missing a career-high six extra points. While the strong-legged specialist will likely have another opportunity, he will need to find a third NFL team to continue his career.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/18/21

Here are Thursday’s minor moves, with the list being updated throughout the day:

Buffalo Bills

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: RB John Kelly

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Kansas City Chiefs

Minnesota Vikings

Pittsburgh Steelers

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/9/21

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Cowboys Place Amari Cooper, DeMarcus Lawrence On PUP

The Cowboys have placed wide receiver Amari Cooper and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence on the Physically Unable to Perform list to begin training camp (Twitter link via Todd Archer of ESPN.com). Cooper is still recuperating from a lingering ankle issue while Lawrence has been hampered by back problems. 

Cooper, a seventh-year veteran, was previously scratched from Cowboys minicamp. He underwent minor ankle surgery in January but the latest trouble surfaced in May. The Pro Bowl wideout has been here before — a sprain cost him time in 2017 and reemerged in early last season. To date, Cooper has not missed a game as a Cowboy. But, if his recovery drags, they’ll be leaning more on Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb.

Lawrence nearly opted out last year, but ultimately went on to appear in all 16 games for the Cowboys with 6.5 sacks. Statistically, his best work came in 2017 and 2018 as he registered a combined 25 sacks. The Cowboys hope that he can quickly put his back (and shoulder) injuries behind him to resume his Pro Bowl form.

The stars will be joined on the list by kicker Greg Zuerlein (back), defensive tackle Trysten Hill (knee), newly-signed rookie defensive end Chauncey Golston (hamstring), and offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt (knee). The Cowboys will also place UDFA receiver T.J. Vasher on the non-football injury list as he works his way back from a knee injury suffered at Texas Tech.

Rams Cut Kickers Austin MacGinnis, Lirim Hajrullahu

In a move that may or may not make the final episode of the latest Hard Knocks season, the Rams have decided on a kicker.

The team made the decision Friday to waive kickers Austin MacGinnis and Lirim Hajrullahu. This will leave Sam Sloman, a seventh-round pick out of Miami (Ohio) as Greg Zuerlein‘s successor.

Sloman separated from the other two competitors over the past week, per The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue (on Twitter). Sloman made 87% of his field goals as a senior for the Redhawks last season.

The Rams signed MacGinnis and Hajrullahua as UDFAs this year. This will mark the first time since 2011 the Rams will head into a season without Zuerlein as their kicker. They opted to let the Pro Bowl specialist walk in free agency, when he signed with the Cowboys.

Contract Details: Zuerlein, Bills, Cardinals

Here are the latest details from the second wave of free agency. All links courtesy of the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, unless otherwise noted.

NFC Contract Details: Zuerlein, Poe, Shell, Vikings

We’ve got a bunch of contract details to pass along, all out of the NFC:

Cowboys To Sign K Greg Zuerlein

Young GZ is headed to Dallas. On Friday, the Cowboys agreed to sign Greg Zuerlein, as Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets

[RELATED: Dak Prescott To Become NFL’s Highest-Paid Player?]

The kicker will receive a three-year deal with a base value of $7.5MM. That marks a pay bump for Greg The Leg, who averaged about $1.6MM per year on his rookie contract with the Rams, with $2.3MM in base salary in the final year.

Zuerlein will also get to reunite with his old special teams coach, John Fassel. Across eight seasons with the Rams – split evenly between St. Louis and L.A. – Zuerlein connected on 82% of his field goal tries. That number doesn’t quite tell the whole story, however. At his best, Zuerlein is one of the league’s most accurate, as shown by his 95% success rate in 2017. Last year, however, he made only 72.7% of his three-point shots with little luck (5-of-11) from 40-49 yards out.

Last year, Brett Maher and Kai Forbath combined to make 75% of the Cowboys field goals.

Cowboys Eyeing Greg Zuerlein, Kai Forbath

The Cowboys are reportedly eyeing free agent kickers. Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News reports (via Twitter) that the organization has expressed interest in re-signing Kai Forbath. More notably, the reporter notes that Greg Zuerlein is on the team’s radar.

Greg The Leg has spent his entire seven-year career with the Rams, including a 2017 campaign where he earned a Pro Bowl nod and first-team All-Pro recognition. While the veteran has connected on 82-percent of his field goal attempts during his career, that number dropped to only 72.7-percent in 2019.

Forbath had a three-game stint with the Cowboys last season, connecting on all 10 of his field goal attempts (including seven from the 40-49-yard range). He also spent two games with New England during the 2019 campaign.

The veteran has had stints with seven different organizations during his career, appearing in 81 career games.