Similarly to every other position in the NFL, today's kickers are simply better athletes than their predecessors. When an athlete realizes at a young age that they possess enough athletic prowess to make it to the NFL, developing the skills to kick has become an extremely attractive option. Kickers make nearly the average salary of NFL running backs and take next to no beating whatsoever.
Young athletes and their parents have taken note, and more than ever there is an infusion of real athleticism at the kicker position.
With so much more emphasis on football than soccer in the United States, talented soccer players are often opting out of a life of bouncing between farm teams in favor of trying their hand at kicking a football. The infusion of talent at the NFL level has been noticeable.
The list of impressive kickers to burst onto the scene in the last several years in the NFL has been quite impressive. Blair Walsh, Alex Henry, Dan Bailey, Justin Tucker, Greg Zuerlein and Kai Forbath make up what is rapidly being considered the best group of kickers in the NFL.
Walsh hit a record 10 field goals this season from beyond 50 yards, and led the NFL in made field goals. Forbath set an NFL record with 17 consecutive field goals made. Neither Walsh nor Tucker missed from over 50 yards. Bailey did not miss the entire season from under 50 yards. Zuerlein hit from a long of 60 yards and attempted from over 70 against the Miami Dolphins, missing wide right.
All of these are incredibly impressive numbers for any kicker, never mind kickers with two or fewer years experience. How the New York Giants factor into this is quite simple: kicker Lawrence Tynes is 34 years of age and is currently a free agent.
Though Tynes was second to Walsh in field goals made in the NFL this season with 33, he had key misses that leave room for an upgrade.
Against the Philadelphia Eagles he was short from 50-yards as time wound down and the Giants ultimately lost by two. During a late season bout with the Washington Redskins, Tynes had a second quarter miss from 48-yards and the Giants ultimately lost by one.
For all of the issues that the Giants had in 2012, with an upgrade at kicker, they could easily have been 11-5 with a 5-1 record in the division.
Take a second to consider that.
Tynes has done a lot for the Giants franchise, but when there is a youth movement as significant as the current one at the kicker position, Jerry Reese needs to take notice. The Giants are all about economy as they turn their roster over. Reese likes to pick up players who can add a lot to the team at a relatively low cost.
A kicker with a powerful leg would be a great investment for the Giants at this junction.
Also…Football, Lawrence Tynes, New York, New York Giants, NFL