2012 Offseason Movement: Place Kickers
By Mike Herman
July 18th, 2012

The offseason movement feature makes yet another appearance. It's one of the few staples of football that you know isn't going anywhere since there will always be players changing teams. Some will end up in better situations, some in worse ones. It's up to us to tell you which ones look good or bad from a preliminary look below. And it's up to you to continue to return to our website over the summer to see how some of these guys look to be panning out with their new teams. If nothing else, this will provide you with a refresher course or keep you informed on something you may have missed in April.

We wish we had a crystal ball to tell you exactly what is going to happen, when it is going to happen, and how much turnover there will be statistically. But the truth is, it's very early in the offseason. The key directive we can give you right now is to stay informed. Players change teams almost daily during the summer months, and a seemingly insignificant move in late August can have a huge impact on both the real NFL and your fantasy league.

We all want to know how Player X will fit in with Team Y. We all want to know how a superstar will react to the first major move of his career, or which journeyman on their last legs will resurrect their stat lines with a move elsewhere. And we can help you with that over time. For now, though, educate yourself on what you see below. Get a good base for how the moves should impact each team, and we'll continue to let you know how they are impacting each team. In the meantime, you can be assured that you won't be that guy at the bar saying something like, "I like Sidney Rice but just don't trust Tarvaris Jackson." while your friends give you blank stares and wonder where you were all offseason.

Kickers by Mike Herman

  1. Josh Brown - NY Jets (from St. Louis)
    • What happened: Shortly after drafting Greg Zuerlein, the Rams released Brown - who had a down 2011 and would have garnered a hefty 2012 salary. Not long thereafter, New York signed Brown.

    • What it means: Brown and incumbent Nick Folk will compete for the starting job this summer. Folk has never repeated his pre-hip injury success, and thus has not solidified his job security with the Jets. If they play evenly, don't be surprised if the job goes to Brown.

  2. Neil Rackers - Washington (from Houston)
    • What happened: The Texans and Rackers were far apart on salary ideas, and thus did not come to terms on a new contract. The free agent Rackers opted to sign with the Redskins.

    • What it means: Rackers will compete against Graham Gano for the starting job this summer. The latter has missed a lot of field goals in his two years in Washington - due to inconsistency in 2010 and blocks due to poor line play in 2011. The Redskins gave Gano some latitude after the first season, but have shortened the rope significantly this time and appear prepared to make a change.

  3. Justin Medlock - Carolina (from Hamilton Tiger-Cats, CFL)
    • What happened: After some short range misses last season, Panthers kicker Olindo Mare held off a surprise in-season challenge for the job from Adi Kunalic. The Panthers stepped up the competition early in the off-season by signing Medlock.

    • What it means: Having built a very solid resume in Canada the last three years, Medlock will get another chance to return to the NFL. He is not just a camp leg, and will challenge Mare for the starting job.

  4. Shayne Graham - Houston (from Miami & Baltimore)
    • What happened: After a strong run with the Bengals but which ended on a playoff sour note, Graham has bounced around the league - primarily filling in where starters have been injured. The Texans signed him after the draft and indicated he'll be competing for the starting job with fifth round draft pick Randy Bullock.

    • What it means: Although termed a competition, it is likely that the job is Bullock's to lose. Graham may serve more so as a mentor, but he could, of course, win the job if Bullock falters.

Other notable kicker that changed teams:

  • Brandon Coutu – Jacksonville (from Buffalo)

  • Kai Forbath – Tampa Bay (from Dallas)

  • Jacob Rogers – Dallas (from Tampa Bay)

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