September 17th, 2021 at 5:22pm CST by Sam Robinson
Ryan Santoso will be with a third team in less than a month. After being traded from the Giants to the Panthers, the young kicker agreed to a practice squad deal with the Titans on Friday. Tennessee cut offensive lineman Christian DiLauro from its P-squad to make room.
This will be a return trip. The Titans gave Santoso his first game experience in 2019, bringing him in amid a turbulent kicking season. Santoso, however, was not one of the four Titans to attempt a field goal that year. The Titans used him as a kickoff specialist during his previous Nashville stay, which lasted three games.
Tennessee also ditched its Week 1 kicker, Michael Badgley, and promoted its previous practice squad specialist — Randy Bullock — to its active roster. Santoso, 26, will now be in place behind Bullock.
A former Minnesota Golden Gopher, Santoso brings an interesting skill set that gives him additional appeal for a practice squad slot. The 26-year-old specialist has extensive punting experience as well, serving as the Big Ten program’s punter as a junior and senior. Santoso’s last season as a full-time kicker came in 2015. He has only worked as a kickoff man and a placekicker in the pros.
September 14th, 2021 at 1:32pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
The Panthers have made their decision. Carolina is cutting kicker Ryan Santoso after just one game, a source told Joe Person of The Athletic (Twitter link). The team then announced they would be signing kicker Zane Gonzalez off the Lions’ practice squad to replace him.
It was a move that was time sensitive because of the Panthers’ trade for Santoso a few weeks ago. Carolina agreed to acquire Santoso from the Giants, and the deal stipulated that they’d send a seventh-round pick to New York if Santoso was on the active roster for two games. Essentially, they had a one week free trial on the kicker, and decided he wasn’t worth the late-round pick.
Santoso made both of his field goal attempts in the team’s Week 1 win over the Jets, but he did miss one of his two extra point attempts. The Panthers cut Joey Slye at final cuts, and they also have Dominik Eberle on the practice squad. Gonzalez was the Browns’ kicker in all 16 games in 2017, and he spent most of the past two seasons as the Cardinals’ full-time kicker. Because he was signed off another team’s practice squad, Carolina will need to keep him on the active roster for at least three weeks.
The Giants will now get nothing in return for the man they had behind Graham Gano during the preseason. Teams apparently thought highly enough of Santoso, who has spent some time in the CFL, to warrant a trade for him, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he gets another shot with somebody soon.
The Giants have agreed to trade kicker Ryan Santoso to the Panthers (Twitterlinks via Tom Rock of Newsday and NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). In return, the Giants will receive a conditional seventh-round pick — it’ll be conveyed if/when Santoso completes two games on Carolina’s roster.
Santoso was blocked by ex-Panther Graham Gano in New York. Even though he has yet to attempt a field goal or extra point in a regular season game, multiple clubs saw him as an NFL-caliber kicker. That includes the Panthers, who will put him up against Joey Slye.
Santoso signed with the Lions as a UDFA in 2018 and went on to spend time with the Titans and the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes. He appeared in three games for Tennessee in 2019 to serve as a kickoff specialist. He booted 17 kickoffs in that span with nine touchbacks.
Slye, who has operated as the Panthers placekicker for the last two years, missed his third kick of the preseason in last week’s loss to Baltimore. Now, the door is open for Santoso to win the job.
The Giants might be able to finagle a draft pick out of a kicker who has not attempted a field goal or extra point in a regular season NFL game. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, teams have called the Giants to discuss a trade for Ryan Santoso, who is blocked by Graham Gano in New York but whom other clubs believe is an NFL-caliber kicker (Twitter link).
Santoso signed with the Lions as a UDFA in 2018, and he has also spent time with the Titans and the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes. He appeared in three games for Tennessee in 2019 and was deployed as a kickoff specialist during that stretch. He handled 17 kickoffs, nine of which went for touchbacks, before being waived.
Last year, he bounced on and off the Giants’ practice squad and active roster, and he signed a reserve/futures deal in January. During his first two years as a collegian at Minnesota, he served as the Golden Gophers’ primary placekicker. He switched to punter for the final two years of his college career, and while his versatility could be an asset, it appears that his primary focus at this time is on his placekicking abilities. Though he had just one XP attempt (which was successful) in New York’s preseason opener last week, he has reportedly performed well in training camp.
The Patriots’ Nick Folk is dealing with an injury, and UDFA rookie Quinn Nordin struggled mightily in the team’s second preseason game on Thursday. As such, New England might be one of the clubs inquiring on Santoso, and the Joe Judge-Pats connection could obviously help facilitate a deal. The Giants’ Meadowlands rivals, the Jets, are currently rostering just one PK, Matt Ammendola, who went undrafted in 2020 and who signed with the Panthers in May of this year before being waived and hooking on with Gang Green. The Jets, therefore, profile as another possible landing spot.
Carolina could also have interest. Joey Slye, who has operated as the team’s placekicker over the past two years, missed his third kick of the preseason in last night’s loss to Baltimore, and head coach Matt Rhule did not mince words after the game.
“You have to produce and so far, Joey has not produced at the level we need him to,” Rhule said (via Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk). “I think he would be the first guy to say that. We have to find a way to get over that hump with him.”