Up front, kickers are a different breed of player. This is because the majority of the time they are smaller players, who aren’t really asked to do the other things that the other 51 players on the roster (punters excluded, too) do every game. Run. Block. Catch. Tackle. Throw, etc.
No. You are a specialist. Your job is mostly (except, getting in a kick returner’s way on rare occasions) to kick the ball, and kick the ball, only.
And most of them are superstitious and quirky, and therefore, susceptible to becoming psychologically damaged by missing kicks. (See: Aguayo, Roberto)
So, when you see an item about a free agent, like new Bucs kicker Chandler Catanzaro. wanting to make a change, it’s not unusual.
Then, again, it’s the off-season, it’s the New York media and, here you go:
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) May 8, 2018
Metha says in his item that “Chandler Catanzaro chose not to re-sign with the Jets in free agency this offseason because he didn’t want to play in the cold, according to sources.”
However, he also concedes and points to another reason, besides warm climate, the Bucs paid Catanzaro, handsomely.
As we detailed when free agency began, Tampa Bay paid Catanzaro $3.75 million guaranteed in a three year $9.75 million deal. That’s significant money being shelled out, as the Bucs continue their journey to find a consistent kicker.
Catanzaro made 25-30 field goals for the Jets in 2017 including 2-2 from beyond 50 yards. However, he was a bit inconsistent in between 40-49 yards making just 12-17. He kicked indoors at home in Arizona the previous three seasons and was 22-26 in between 40-49 yards with the Cards.
Back to the cold weather argument, in New York last year, he missed two field goals in a cool, rainy home game with the Falcons, and the Jets lost 25-20.
However, the rest of November and December, Catanzaro kicked in six subsequent outdoor games either in New York or a cold outdoor climate on the road. They were Buffalo and Carolina at home in November, in December with Kansas City at home, at Denver, then the Chargers at home and the finale’ at New England.
In those six games, Catanzaro made 11 of 12 field goals. His only miss came in the last game at Foxboro, where the Jets were beaten 26-6, anyway.
So, as Metha tries to poke fun, it wasn’t that he was terrible kicking outdoors in the elements.
Nope. The new Bucs kicker wanted to be in warmer weather all season, and most importantly, he’s making three times, as much to do it in 2018.
Too Cold? Maybe.
Richer in 2018? No dispute.
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