The Atlanta Falcons have been fortunate enough to have the leg of Matt Bryant kicking field goals for their team since 2009.
In those seven years, Bryant has made 162 field goals in 185 attempts good enough for an 87 percent make-rate. It doesn’t take a mathematician to explain just how good that is and to have someone do that in a Falcons’ uniform is all the better.
From 2010 to 2014, Bryant played in all 16 games, but things didn’t go according to plan in 2015. Bryant missed six games with an injury and finished just 14 of 18 on the year. His 14 makes was his lowest total since joining the team in 2009.
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At the age of 41, Bryant is tied with kicker Phil Dawson for as the second-oldest player in the NFL. Because of his recent injury past and his ever-increasing age, is it time to part ways?
Bryant is signed through the end of the 2017 season and is owed just under $3 million over that period of time. Atlanta would save some much-needed cash if they decided to take that route, but who would replace him if that were to happen?
The Falcons signed Nick Rose as an undrafted free agent in April out of the University of Texas.
The story of Rose is rather incredible. Born in Hawaii, Rose grew up an avid soccer fan and walked on to Texas and won the starting job. In two years as the Longhorns’ starter, Rose knocked in 27 of 38 good enough for a 71 percent make-rate. Sure, that isn’t the greatest, but he wouldn’t be the first average college kicker to become a star in the NFL.
Rose probably isn’t quite as accurate as Bryant is at the moment, but what he does have is leg power. Rose booted an 80-yard field goal in his spare time and has connected on two 50-yard plus field goals in his career.
With only 53 roster spots to work with, keeping both Bryant and Rose probably isn’t plausible. Putting the money aside, it should come down to which one performs better at this year’s training camp.
Just because Bryant is the veteran doesn’t mean he should automatically get the nod. It should be his leg that wins him the job. Let the best leg win!