Graham Gano and the no-good life of the veteran kicker
By Patrick Imig
Cold Hard Football Facts' Speaker of the Swine (@patrickimig)
The month of September is near and NFL rosters are being trimmed. On Monday, the Washington Redskins released kicker Neil Rackers, who was outlasted by Graham Gano in the Redskins' preseason kicking duel. Gano beat out Rackers based on his practice work and didn't even attempt one field goal during any of the team's August exhibitions.
This was quite a vote of confidence considering Gano has missed on 26% of his FG attempts since joining the Redskins in 2009, which includes a league-high 10 misses in 2011. But a funny thing happened on Gano's way through the uprights: the Baltimore Ravens released K Billy Cundiff Sunday in favor of undrafted free agent Justin Tucker.
This paved the way for an extreme turn of events. Gano's thrill of victory over Rackers was snatched away by the agony of being released Tuesday, after the Redskins signed the recently terminated Cundiff.
To recap: Graham Gano beat out the man who kicked a record 40 NFL field goals in 2005 without attempting a single FG in the preseason, then got released in favor of a veteran kicker who was replaced by an undrafted free agent K out of Texas.
The kicking game giveth; the kicking game taketh away.
Also losing out: Olindo Mare was released by the Panthers in favor of Justin Medlock. Medlock spent 2011 in the Canadian Football League.