Shayne Graham

Shayne Graham Retires

Longtime NFL kicker Shayne Graham spent last season out of football and has now decided his playing career is over. The 15-year veteran announced Monday that he’s retiring, though he would like to eventually become a special teams coach.

Shayne Graham (vertical)

Graham, 39, entered the league as an undrafted free agent from Virginia Tech in 2000 and went on to play for 10 teams. The last of those clubs, the Falcons, released Graham prior to the 2016 campaign. The nomadic Graham’s longest stay was in Cincinnati, where he played from 2003-09, earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2005 and remains the most accurate kicker in franchise history. Graham’s stint with the Bengals ended in ignominious fashion, though, as he missed 29- and 35-yard field goals in a 24-14 wild-card round loss to the Jets.

“One of the great regrets I have in my career is that I didn’t realize how good I had it in Cincinnati,” he told Geoff Hobson of “There was a time I fooled myself into thinking there were other things more important than what they were. I lost grasp of what true reality was. When I look back on it I feel like I could have been there a lot longer if I made different decisions. But think it made me a better person, made me a better professional.”

Graham was indeed a quality professional, having converted 277 of 324 field goal tries and 429 of 435 extra points en route to a 1,260-point total. His 85.5 percent success rate on field goals ranks 10th all-time.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/6/16

A couple NFC South teams held large tryout sessions today, and the Saints ended up signing a player — veteran corner Sterling Moore — after he auditioned for them earlier today. Let’s take a look at some more news from the workout front:

  • Facing a kicker crisis, the Giants worked out placekickers Cody Parkey, Shayne Graham, and Aldrick Rosas today, reports Jordan Raanan of, though New York is unlikely to sign anyone from the group, according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY (Twitter link). Per Raanan, the Giants also worked out a large group of offensive lineman that included Vlad Ducasse, Mackenzy Bernadeau.
  • The Patriots worked out the following defensive backs today (via Doug Kyed of NESN on Twitter): Mike Hilton, Trae Elston, Stefan McClure, JaCorey Shepherd, Kevin Short. New England was trying out players for the final spot on its practice squad, and Hilton ultimately earned the job.
  • The Jaguars worked out former Houston inside linebacker Reshard Cliett today, according to a source who spoke with Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). The fast former South Florida standout was let go by Houston prior to the 53-man cut. Jacksonville also worked out linebacker Luke Rhodes today, but they didn’t offer him a deal right away, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweets.
  • Former Cincinnati receiver Mekale McKay was part of a Buccaneers’ workout earlier today, and he’ll next try out for the Patriots on Wednesday, according to Auman (Twitter link).
  • The Packers auditioned defensive tackle Rodney Coe today, per Rob Demovsky of Coe participated in training camp with the Cowboys.

Falcons Down To 63

The Falcons announced that they have cut a number of players. Between the announced moves plus the additional reports below, they are now down to 63. The team still has many moves to make between now and tomorrow’s 53-man deadline. The full list (so far) is below.



In between previous stints with the Falcons, Harris previously spent three seasons with New Orleans, seeing action in 34 games with four starts.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Release Shayne Graham

Shayne Graham‘s stay in Atlanta was short lived. The Falcons have released the veteran kicker, as independent NFL reporter Dov Kleiman tweets. Shayne Graham (vertical)

Atlanta signed Graham in late August as Matt Bryant struggled with muscle tightness. Graham, 38, has had stints with several NFL teams and this two week stay marked his second trip with the Falcons. Last year, caught on with the Falcons in late November and played in six games, making 11-of-13 field goal tries and all eight of the extra points he attempted. Graham spent the bulk of his career with the Bengals, having played there from 2003-09. He earned a Pro Bowl bid in 2005.

Graham’s release could signal that Bryant is getting ready to return to action. The Falcons also released former Clemson defensive end Malliciah Goodman, Rand Getlin of tweets.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Re-Sign Shayne Graham

Brought in to kick last season due to Matt Bryant‘s injury trouble, Shayne Graham will return to the Falcons after reaching an agreement to re-sign, Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk reports.

Bryant’s been sidelined as of late with muscle tightness, opening the door for the 38-year-old Graham to return, at least for the time being.

The Falcons cut kicker Nick Rose, who missed three kicks in the first two preseason games, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Graham has now been a two-time employee of the Falcons and Saints after having spent his second season (in 2002) with the Panthers. He’s most known for the seven-season stay in Cincinnati. Graham kicked for the Bengals from 2003-09 and earned his only Pro Bowl bid in southwest Ohio, booking the Hawaii trip in 2005.

The Saints re-signed Graham in February of 2015 after having deployed him as their kicker from 2013-14 but cut him last May. Graham then caught on with the Falcons in late November and played in six games, making 11-of-13 field goal tries and all eight of the extra points he attempted.

Since departing Cincinnati after 2009, Graham’s only enjoyed full-season stints in two of the past six years — with the Texans in 2012 and Saints in ’14. In between, he spent time with the Patriots, Giants, Dolphins and Ravens.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Place Matt Bryant On IR

The 2015 season is over for Falcons kicker Matt Bryant, who was placed on injured reserve today by the team due to a quad injury (Twitter link). Shayne Graham, who has filled in for Bryant for the last two weeks, will continue to handle extra points and field goals for Atlanta down the stretch.

Although Bryant turned 40 this year, this is the first time since 2009 that he has missed action due to an injury. The veteran kicker remains under contract with the Falcons for two more years, and while he struggled a little this season, missing four of his 18 field goal attempts, I expect he remains in the team’s plans for 2016.

According to Vaughn McClure of (via Twitter), the Falcons have filled Bryant’s roster spot by promoting nose tackle Joey Mbu to the 53-man roster from their practice squad, Mbu will provide depth in the middle this weekend for the Falcons’ defensive line, with Paul Soliai sidelined.

Workout Notes: Patriots, Saints, Packers

Here are the latest workouts from around the NFL:

  • The Patriots had free agent wide receivers Julian Talley (UMass), Alan Bonner (Jacksonville State), and Austin Willis (Emporia State) in for workouts, Mike Reiss of tweets.
  • The Saints auditioned cornerback Tony Carter, as Adam Caplan of tweets.
  • Before signing Shayne Graham, the Falcons also worked out kicker Billy Cundiff, Vaughn McClure of tweets.
  • Washington will work out safety Brian Suite, according to a source who spoke with Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (on Twitter).
  • The Packers will audition wide receiver Emughedi Umodu, Wilson tweets.

Falcons To Sign Shayne Graham, Cut Joplo Bartu

9:50am: To make room for Graham, the Falcons will cut linebacker Joplo Bartu, as D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes.

Bartu, a former starter, has only made one start in 2015 and appeared in six games total. Between 2013 and 2014, Bartu appeared in all 32 regular season contests with 27 starts. In total, Bartu notched 167 tackles and 4.5 sacks during that span. This year, he has recorded just eleven tackles.

9:36am: The Falcons are planning to sign former Saints and Bengals kicker Shayne Graham, a source tells Adam Schefter of (via Twitter). Graham will give Atlanta an extra leg Matt Bryant nurses a quad injury.

Graham is a 15-year NFL veteran who first joined New Orleans as a UDFA in 2000. The 37-year-old (38 in December), who has played for nine clubs in total, ranks seventh in NFL record books in field goal accuracy (85.5%), having nailed 266-of-311 career attempts. Overall, in 173 games, he has scored 1,219 points, tied for 35th in NFL history. Last year, Graham connected on 19-of-22 field goal attempts and finished as the club’s leading scorer with 103 points.

Nick Novak, Others Auditioning For Eagles

12:07pm: Today’s tryouts are simply precautionary, according to head coach Chip Kelly (Twitter link). I speculated as much below, noting that the team could simply be attempting to identify a Plan B in case Parkey has to miss a game or two.

10:31am: Kai Forbath, Shayne Graham, and Carey Spear are also part of today’s workout for the Eagles, per Albert Breer of the NFL Network (Twitter link).

10:13am: Alex Marvez of FOX Sports reported earlier today that the Eagles would be auditioning kickers today after Cody Parkey re-aggravated a preseason groin injury during Sunday’s game, and Ian Rapoport of has provided some additional details, tweeting that ex-Changers kicker Nick Novak is working out for Philadelphia.

After Marvez tweeted that there are at least two other free agents in attendance, Rapoport reported those names as well, tweeting that Caleb Sturgis and Billy Cundiff are getting a look from the Eagles. Connor Barth, Jay Feely, and ex-Eagle Alex Henery are among the other notable veteran kickers who are currently without NFL jobs, but it doesn’t sound like they’re being considered by Philadelphia.

Novak, 34, had been the Chargers’ full-time kicker from 2011 to 2014, making 101 of his 117 field goal attempts (86.3%) during his time in San Diego, including 11 of 17 from 50+ yards. However, he was beaten out in camp this year by the younger, cheaper Josh Lambo, and was released by the Chargers earlier this month.

Sturgis, meanwhile, was the Dolphins’ kicker for the last two seasons, but his performance was a little shakier, as he missed eight field goal attempts in each of his two seasons with the team, for an overall mark of 77.5%. He lost his job to Andrew Franks this year. As for Cundiff, he kicked for the Browns in 2013 and 2014, converting 78.2% of his field goal tries.

If Novak, Sturgis, or Cundiff impresses the Eagles, it won’t necessarily result in a deal — according to Marvez, it’s unclear whether Parkey will be healthy enough to kick for Philadelphia in the club’s Week 4 game against Washington. Today’s workout may just be a fact-finding mission to identify the best alternative in case Parkey’s groin ultimately keeps him out of action.

Extra Points: Brown, Wilkerson, Raiders

The NFL and NFLPA recently reached a settlement that capped the number of unsigned veterans who can participate in tryouts at rookie minicamp to five players, sources tell Alex Marvez of FOX Sports. The financial compensation for participating veterans was one of the NFLPA’s concerns, and that apparently outweighed the upside of deals coming together for players like Josh Morgan, who signed with the Saints after an impressive tryout during rookie minicamp. Here’s more from around the NFL..

  • The Patriots had free agent cornerback Tarell Brown in for a visit today, a team source tells Mike Reiss of (on Twitter). This is the second time that the Pats have hosted Brown for a visit.
  • Jets owner Woody Johnson didn’t make it sound like a new deal for Muhammad Wilkerson is coming anytime soon, as Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post writes. “We’re continuing to have dialogue sporadically, but it’s got to be something that works for both sides,” Johnson said.
  • The Raiders are open to selling a minority stake in the team to a Bay Area company if that company can help fill the $400MM stadium financing gap that currently exists, Peter Schrager of FOX Sports tweets.
  • Washington proposed that roster cuts should go from a 90-man roster to a 53-man roster, but that idea was voted down, a source tells Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter).
  • With 49ers defensive lineman Justin Smith retiring in May, he has more than $2.1MM in unearned signing bonus money, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes. The 49ers could try and recoup that money, but they might feel indebted to Smith after he restructured his deal in 2013. Meanwhile, the former defensive end known as Cowboy says he checked out 49ers rookie minicamp and he might want to “dip my toe into coaching” after a couple years, Matt Maiocco of tweets.
  • Saints receivers coach John Morton probably had some input in the signing of wide receiver Lance Lewis, who spent last year under Morton on the 49ers’ practice squad, Evan Woodbery of The Times Picayune tweets. Earlier today, New Orleans signed Lewis and dropped kicker Shayne Graham.
  • The release of Graham leaves the Saints on the hook for his $10K signing bonus, Woodbery notes (on Twitter). The team’s dead money total has now risen a tad, from $21.67MM to $21.68MM.