Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, September 1, 2023

NFL seems to be suffering from shortage of kickers

The life of a kicker can be plenty nomadic, and the Titans were not the only team sorting and sifting Tuesday to try and remedy their placekicking situation.

Tennessee benefited from Nick Folk losing out to Chad Ryland in New England and acquired the veteran to be a stopgap at the kicker position this year.

In New Orleans, Will Lutz lost to rookie Blake Grupe and was shipped to Denver where he dislodged Brett Maher, in part because new Broncos head coach Sean Payton knows Lutz from their time together with the New Orleans Saints.

Likewise, with the Los Angeles Chargers, Cameron Dicker fought off a challenge from veteran Dustin Hopkins, and the Chargers shipped Hopkins to Cleveland to supplant Cade York, whom the Browns had just drafted in 2022 with a fourth-round pick.

You have to give the Titans credit for trying to develop a young guy who can win the job. But being able to trust an untested player is tough for a team that plays as many close games as Tennessee does.

Not since Rob Bironas won the job 18 years ago and then held it through 2013 have the Titans been able to develop a young, reliable kicker.

So while Folk will presumably be the guy in Nashville this year, the smart thing to do would be to stash somebody on the practice squad and continue to try and develop him for the long haul.