Matt Ammendola

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.

Jets Cut K Matt Ammendola

The Jets kicking competition is down to two players. The Jets announced that they have released kicker Matt Ammendola.

[RELATED: Jets Sign K Greg Zuerlein]

Ammendola was already facing an uphill battle to make the roster. The Jets signed veteran kicker Greg Zuerlein this past weekend, and they later signed restricted free agent kicker Eddy Pineiro to a new one-year deal. The front office seems content to head into training camp with a competition at kicker, but three was apparently too many at the position.

Now, Ammendola will look to revive his career elsewhere. The 2020 undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma State made his NFL debut last season for the Jets, seeing time in 11 total games. The 25-year-old connected on 13 of his 19 field goal tries and 14 of his 15 extra point attempts. He even added in six punts, averaging 48.5 yards.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/10/22

A bunch of teams had their seasons come to an end yesterday, and these front offices are now starting to prepare for the offseason. Today, a number of players were inked to reserve/futures contracts, which allows organizations to retain (mostly) young, practice squad players throughout the offseason. We’ve compiled today’s reserve/futures contracts below:

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Football Team

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 12/7/21

Today’s taxi squad moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

New York Giants

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/4/21

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/31/21

We’ve got a bunch of minor moves to report from what turned out to be a pretty busy Saturday in the NFL:

Atlanta Falcons

Cleveland Browns

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Football Team

  • Claimed off waivers from Dolphins: OL Ross Reynolds

Hundley is the biggest signing on this list. The Colts adding him is a pretty good sign they expect Carson Wentz to miss some significant time. Assuming Wentz misses games, Hundley will battle it out with second-year pro Jacob Eason.

A couple of kickers who have started a bunch of games both found themselves sent packing in Ficken and Rosas. Mannion latched on with the Seahawks. He’s familiar with new Seattle OC Shane Waldron from their time together with the Rams, explaining why the Seahawks added him as an option behind Russell Wilson.

AFC East Notes: Waddle, Wilson, Jets, Pats

Jaylen Waddle missed most of his senior season at Alabama due to a broken ankle. While that injury occurred back in October, the top-10 pick does not appear to have fully recovered. Waddle’s ankle remains an issue at Dolphins camp, according to Adam Beasley of the Pro Football Network. Some with the Dolphins do not believe the No. 6 overall pick has regained his full explosiveness just yet, Beasley adds. The former Tua Tagovailoa Tuscaloosa weapon has walked with a limp during training camp but has gone through practices, avoiding a stay on Miami’s active/PUP list. Although the Dolphins have three first-round wideouts on their roster, with free agent pickup Will Fuller joining DeVante Parker, Waddle is the highest-drafted receiver in team history.

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • The Jets making Zach Wilson the last of this year’s 259 draftees to sign is not especially surprising, given the timing of the sides’ negotiations. The Jets did not begin negotiating with the No. 2 overall pick until last week, per The Athletic’s Jeff Howe (on Twitter). Gang Green wanted Wilson to defer $6MM of his signing bonus to 2022, but when the team agreed to pay it all this year, Wilson flew to the Big Apple. While payment schedule was an issue for Wilson’s camp, SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano notes offset language was the top concern for the quarterback. Once the Jets agreed to pay out his bonus within 15 days, however, the BYU product caved on offsets, which are present in his deal.
  • Marcus Maye and the Jets never came close on a deal ahead of the franchise tag extension deadline, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes. With a Maye tag in 2022 costing the Jets $12.7MM, Cimini expects this season to be it for Maye with the team. The Jets appear intent on gauging Maye’s fit in Robert Saleh‘s defense, but the timing here may well lead Maye elsewhere next year. Maye and Jamal Adams started together for three seasons on Gang Green’s back line. It is now looking likely each will have passed through before receiving a big payday with another team.
  • Two-year incumbent Sam Ficken and rookie UDFA Chris Naggar are vying for the Jets’ kicker job, but the team held a workout recently at this position. Matthew McCraneMatt Ammendola and Haidar Zaidan worked out for the team this week, Aaron Wilson of Sports Talk 790 tweets. Of the three, McCrane is the only one to kick in an NFL game. And that came back in 2018.
  • The Patriots received a slight boost in their salary cap space this week. Patrick Chung‘s retirement being officially processed created $891K in cap space for the Pats, Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed tweets. Chung opted out last season but announced his retirement in March. New England currently carries just more than $13MM in cap space.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/24/21

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

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Green Bay Packers

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

Seattle Seahawks