Overall, 2019 was a beautiful season for the Jets’ special teams, but there was one glaring issue — kicker.

The Jets ranked 31st in both field goal percentage (67.9%) and extra point percentage (85.2%) in 2019. After Kaare Vedvik cost the Jets four desperately-needed points in their season-opening one-point loss to Buffalo, the team’s choice as the emergency replacement was Sam Ficken. He was awful, ranking 31st out of 34 qualifiers in field goal percentage (70.4%) and 32nd in extra point percentage (88.5%).

Choosing not to overpay reigning Pro Bowler Jason Myers was a prudent decision, as regression was likely following his outlier 2018 season. As it turned out, Myers did falter in Seattle, ranking 19th in field goal percentage (82.1%) and 27th in extra point percentage (90.9%) — less-than-ideal numbers for a player earning the 10th-most guaranteed money at the position ($7.0M).

The Jets’ mistake was not deciding to let Myers go, but failing to put together an adequate backup plan. Their Plan B featured two players with a proven track record of mediocrity (Chandler Catanzaro, Taylor Bertolet). When one retired and the other was too awful to stick with, the Jets turned to Vedvik, a guy who was just cut after missing 3-of-4 preseason field goals in Minnesota and had connected on a brutal 62.5% of field goals in his final college season two years prior. This was a brilliant formula to stir up some terrible production, and that is exactly what the Jets got.

Joe Douglas cannot allow this to happen again. The Jets need to prioritize adding legitimate kicking competitors so they can feel confident that their final choice will at least give them an average level of performance.

Here is a look at some of the better kickers set to hit the open market.


  • 2019 ranks are among 34 qualified kickers with at least 10 FG attempts
  • Career ranks are among the 41 active kickers with at least 20 FG attempts
  • Extra point attempts before 2015 are excluded (when the kick was moved back to the 15-yard line)
  • NFL averages in charts are since 2015. Kickers’ FG numbers in charts are for career, extra point numbers are since 2015

Kai Forbath, Dallas Cowboys

Age: 32

Free Agent Type: Unrestricted

2019: 11/11 FG (100%, T-1st), 11/12 XP (91.7%, 25th), 40.9yd average attempt distance (4th)

Career: 131/151 FG (86.8%, T-9th), 93/103 XP (90.3%, 35th)

Dan Bailey, Minnesota Vikings

Age: 32

Free Agent Type: Unrestricted

2019: 27/29 FG (93.1%, 5th), 40/44 XP (90.9%, T-26th), 36.2yd average attempt distance (28th)

Career: 234/268 FG (87.3%, 7th), 167/174 XP (96.0%, 12th)

Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers

Age: 35

Free Agent Type: Unrestricted

2019: 22/24 FG (91.7%, 6th), 40/41 XP (97.6%, 8th), 37.2yd average attempt distance (21st)

Career: 329/426 FG (81.0%, 31st), 187/195 XP (95.9%, 14th)

Zane Gonzalez, Arizona Cardinals

Age: 25

Free Agent Type: Restricted

2019: 31/35 FG (88.6%, 9th), 34/35 XP (97.1%, 11th), 33.5yd average attempt distance (34th)

Career: 55/69 FG (79.7%, 35th), 67/72 XP (93.1%, 26th)

Younghoe Koo, Atlanta Falcons

Age: 26

Free Agent Type: Restricted

2019: 23/26 FG (88.5%, 10th), 15/16 XP (93.8%, 20th), 36.6yd average attempt distance (26th)

Career: 26/32 FG (81.3%, 30th), 24/25 XP (96.0% 13th)

Ka’imi Fairbairn, Houston Texans

Age: 26

Free Agent Type: Unrestricted

2019: 20/25 FG (80.0%, 21st), 40/45 XP (88.9%, 30th), 39.7yd average attempt distance (9th)

Career: 77/92 FG (83.7%, 21st), 111/121 XP (91.7%, 31st)

Joey Slye, Carolina Panthers

Age: 24

Free Agent Type: Exclusive Rights

2019 (rookie season): 25/32 FG (78.1%, 24th), 31/35 XP (88.6%, 31st), 43.3yd average attempt distance (2nd)

Greg Zuerlein, Los Angeles Rams

Age: 32

Free Agent Type: Unrestricted

2019: 24/33 FG (72.7%, 29th), 42/42 XP (100%, T-1st), 40.0yd average attempt distance (8th)

Career: 201/245 FG (82.0%, 27th), 170/175 XP (97.1%, 7th)

Chase McLaughlin, Indianapolis Colts

Age: 24

Free Agent Type: Exclusive Rights

2019 (rookie season): 18/23 FG (78.3%, 23rd), 26/26 XP (100%, T-1st), 38.7yd average attempt distance (13th)

Other notable free agent kickers: Nick Folk (NE), Daniel Carlson (OAK), Aldrick Rosas (NYG)

 
 

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