The Saints have signed kicker Patrick Murray, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Rapoport says Murray will compete with incumbent Wil Lutz, but Josh Katzenstein of the Times-Picayune tweets that Lutz has looked great in camp, so New Orleans may have signed Murray simply to allow Lutz to save his leg. Nick Underhill of the New Orleans Advocate, meanwhile, says there is a kicking competition, though he still thinks Lutz is pretty safe (Twitter links).
Regardless, Murray is more accomplished than a camp fodder kicker that is often brought in just to spell the presumptive starter before the regular season begins. In 2014, Murray was the Buccaneers’ kicker and converted 20 of 24 field goals. He spent all of 2015 on IR before winning the Browns’ kicking competition last summer. Unfortunately, he played in only two games for Cleveland before landing on IR for the second consecutive year. He made one of his two field goal attempts and three of his four extra point opportunities.
Lutz originally signed with the Ravens as a UDFA last year, but he never had a chance to beat out Justin Tucker and was cut in late August. He caught on with the Saints a week later and spent the entire year as the club’s kicker, connecting on 28 of 34 field goal attempts and 49 of 50 extra points. He was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week in Week 6 and Week 8.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.