Veteran NFL kickers Dan Carpenter and Billy Cundiff will compete tomorrow for the Cleveland Browns vacancy at the kicker position, according to multiple media reports.
The news about Carpenter, a five-year kicker for the Miami Dolphins, was first reported by the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram’s Scott Petrak (tweet). That initial tweet noted that Carpenter will participate in a competition with others.
Then, the name of Cundiff, who has played for five teams since 2002, surfaced as well, as reported by the Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot (tweet). Cundiff is the one of only three kickers to play for the Browns since they returned in 1999, as he played in five games back in 2009.
Carpenter was originally signed by Miami as an undrafted free agent in 2008 out of Montana. At the end his five years, he was placed on injured reserve last December with a groin injury. Over 76 career NFL games, the 27-year-old was 154-155 (99.4%) on extra points and 127-155 (81.9%) on field goals.
Although Carpenter’s career statistics aren’t too shabby, it appears that his long-time groin issues might still be a factor. After being released by the Dolphins on Aug. 14 in favor of rookie Caleb Sturgis, he was given opportunities to compete for starting jobs with both the Arizona Cardinals and the New York Jets. He was cut within four days by both teams, each within the past two weeks.
Cundiff kicked briefly for the Washington Redskins in 2012 before being replaced by Kai Forbath in early October. He was then signed by the San Francisco Giants but did not play in a game. His most infamous career moment was missing a 32-yard attempt with Baltimore in the 2012 AFC Championship game.
Over the course of his nine years in the NFL — Cundiff did not play in 2007 or 2008 — the 33-year-old Cundiff is 217-218 (99.5%) on extra points and 139-184 (75.5%) on field goals. He signed a one-year deal with the New York Jets back in July, but was then cut in favor of, oddly enough, Carpenter, who was cut later in the week.
Spencer Lanning was the kicking hero of the Browns’ final preseason game, although he projects to be the team’s punter exclusively. Veteran Shayne Graham was the expected favorite to win the job earlier this offseason, but struggled along with Brandon Bogotay. Both were released earlier in the week.