Sam Ficken

Titans Promote K Michael Badgley, S Bradley McDougald; Sam Ficken Lands On IR

Like the Texans, the Titans will need their recently added practice squad kicker to contribute immediately. Tennessee placed Sam Ficken on IR on Saturday and promoted Michael Badgley.

The Titans signed Badgley to their practice squad Friday. The former Chargers specialist will suit up against the Cardinals in Week 1. Ficken will not be eligible to begin his season until Week 4. The Titans added their top kicker to their injury report Friday; a groin injury will sideline Ficken to start the year.

This move complicates the Titans’ kicker situation yet again. After a Ryan Succop injury led to a host of kickers suiting up for the Titans in 2019, leading to a historically bad 8-for-18 collective make rate, the Titans signed Stephen Gostkowski last year. The ex-Patriot made just 69% of his field goal tries. The Titans also added Randy Bullock, who worked out for the team Friday, to their practice squad. The Lions cut Bullock, a longtime Bengals kicker, last month.

Badgley kicked in 34 Chargers games over the past three years but could not beat out a younger competitor, Tristan Vizcaino, in training camp. The Texans promoted recent P-squad addition Joey Slye to their active roster Saturday as well, with Ka’imi Fairbairn also on IR with a groin ailment. Badgley auditioned for the Texans, but they went with Slye.

Additionally, the Titans promoted Bradley McDougald and MyCole Pruitt to their active roster. Tennessee signed McDougald earlier this summer but demoted the veteran safety to its P-squad earlier this week. Pruitt is back with the Titans after the 49ers released him on cutdown day.

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Titans Claim K Sam Ficken Off Waivers

It didn’t take long for Sam Ficken to find a new home. Just a day after getting cut by the Jets, the kicker has been claimed by the Titans, the team announced Sunday.

Tennessee cut fellow kicker Blake Haubeil in a corresponding roster move, and also announced they’ve placed tight end Briley Moore on injured reserve. A Penn State product, Ficken went undrafted in 2015. He didn’t even sign his first NFL contract until 2016, and didn’t make a regular season roster until December of 2017 with the Rams. He kicked in a few games with Los Angeles between 2017-18, both times as a fill-in for an injured Greg Zuerlein.

After quick stints with the Seahawks and Packers, Ficken eventually landed with the Jets in September of 2019, where he found his first real home. He’s been New York’s kicker for most of the last two seasons, with mixed results. Injuries limited him to only nine games last year, in which he made 13 of 15 field goals and 12 of 15 extra points.

In 2019 he was shakier, making only 19 of 27 field goal attempts across 15 games. He’ll now battle it out with Tucker McCann to be the Titans’ next permanent kicker after they elected not to re-sign Stephen Gostkowski this offseason.

Haubeil is an undrafted rookie from Ohio State. Moore is an undrafted rookie from Kansas State who suffered a knee injury.

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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.

Latest On Jets’ Kicking Situation

The Jets recently signed kicker Chris Naggar as part of a 12-man UDFA class, and head coach Robert Saleh said Naggar has a real chance to win the team’s kicking competition (Twitter link via Connor Hughes of The Athletic). Special teams coordinator Brant Boyer is said to be particularly excited about Naggar’s potential.

New York used three kickers last season: Sam Ficken, Sergio Castillo, and Chase McLaughlin. Ficken opened the 2020 season with the kicking job, but he missed six games due to injury. Castillo, Ficken’s first replacement, ended up converting just eight of 13 FG attempts, and the Jets turned to McLaughlin for the final game of the year. But, as a result of the Naggar addition, the club recently waived McLaughlin.

Ficken was retained for the 2021 campaign via a reserve/futures contract, but it sounds like he will need to beat out a rookie to keep his job. The Penn State product was not very good for Gang Green in 2019, connecting on 70.4% of his FG tries, but he was much better in his nine contests last year. He sank 13 of 15 tries (86.4%), though he did miss three PATs in 15 attempts.

Naggar, who started his collegiate career at Texas before transferring to SMU, hit 17 of 21 field goal attempts (81%) and 43 of 46 PATs (93.5%) in 2020.

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NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/5/21

We’ll keep track of the latest reserve/futures deals here:

Carolina Panthers 

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/2/21

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

  • Signed off Jets’ practice squad: G Blake Hance
  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: S Karl Joseph
  • Promoted: G Cordell Iwuagwu, LB Montrel Meander, T Alex Taylor

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Promoted: DB John Brannon

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/19/20

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Jets Place K Sam Ficken, RB La’Mical Perine On IR

The Jets are sending a couple of important players to injured reserve, they announced Tuesday. Kicker Sam Ficken and running back La’Mical Perine will both be hitting the shelf for at least the next three games.

Ficken opened the year as the team’s kicker but got hurt during Week 6 and missed the next handful of games. He just returned this past week but seems to have rushed himself back, as he missed two of his four extra point attempts against the Chargers and apparently re-aggravated his groin injury. Sergio Castillo, who filled in recently, will now take over the kicking duties once again. Ficken is a Penn State product who spent parts of 2017-18 with the Rams before landing the Jets’ job last season.

Perine is a promising rookie who many Jets fans were hoping would blossom into the running back of the future after the Le’Veon Bell saga. He suffered a high ankle sprain against Los Angeles that will knock him out, but hopefully the fourth-rounder from Florida will be able to return for the last couple games to make his case.

For now ageless wonder Frank Gore will take on an even more prominent role, and the team already signed former Eagles running back Josh Adams off the practice squad to replace Perine. They also announced they were signing tight end Ross Travis off the practice squad to take Ficken’s place.

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Jets To Sign K Sam Ficken

The Jets are set to sign kicker Sam Ficken, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Ficken will replace Kaare Vedvik, who missed a field goal and an extra point in the team’s 17-16 loss to the Bills on Sunday. 

Ficken served as Greg Zuerlein‘s injury replacement, but the Rams cut him prior to Zuerlein recovering. Ficken’s brief trial period ended after he missed two of three field goal tries between Weeks 3 and 4 last season. This offseason, he had stints with the Seahawks and Packers, but wound up back on the free agency pile when he missed the cut in Green Bay.

Vedvik, a hybrid kicker/punter specialist, has had a rough offseason. After being traded from the Ravens to the Vikings for a fifth-round pick, he was hoping to fill the Jets’ void at kicker. Instead, he’s now looking for his fourth team in four weeks.

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Jets To Hold Kicker Tryout

While the Bears this offseason garnered more publicity than just about any kicker-seeking team ever has, the Jets are entering that realm. They are almost certainly set to move to a fourth kicker in less than a month.

The Jets will hold a kicker tryout on Tuesday, as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets. Sam Ficken, Greg Joseph, Elliott Fry, Younghoe Koo, and Tristan Vizcaino will vie to replace the struggling Kaare Vedvik, according to Manish Mehta of the Daily News.

Adam Gase‘s official word has not yet sealed Vedvik’s fate, but Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News notes the first-year Jets coach was “fuming” regarding the recently acquired kicker on Sunday night (Twitter link). Vedvik missed an extra point and a 45-yard field goal in what became a one-point Jets loss to the Bills. The hybrid specialist is 1-for-5 on field goals since being traded from the Ravens to the Vikings in the second week of the preseason.

Vedvik loomed as a Ravens trade chip for two offseasons, and after spending the 2018 season on Baltimore’s IR list, the Ravens acquired a fifth-round pick for him. The Vikings were set to offer a practice squad spot to Vedvik before the Jets made a waiver claim. The Vikings have another kicker, Chase McLaughlin, on their P-squad.

The Jets opted to let 2018 Pro Bowl kicker Jason Myers defect to the Seahawks in free agency. Replacement Chandler Catanzaro retired in mid-August, and the team added AAF alum Taylor Bertolet. The Vedvik claim sent Bertolet back to the waiver wire. Despite a versatile skill set that stems from extensive punting experience as well, Vedvik looks set to head there again soon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.