Ready for another four years of up and down field goal kicking?!
Kicking is a fundamental part of the game. Everyone shits on it, but you look at the scoring leaders year-in and year-out and it’s nothing but kickers. They took up the top 22 spots in 2022, before Austin Ekeler and his 18 touchdowns squeaked in there. Who was at the very top of the list? Jason Myers, one point ahead of Justin Tucker.
And it’s funny you should see those two names together like that, because they’re also (now) the top two highest-paid kickers in the league. Tucker is at the top of that particular list, and then there’s Myers and his 4 years, $21.1 million.
I’m always extremely dubious about kickers. Maybe that’s because the Seahawks – by and large – have been blessed throughout my lifetime with good kicking games. Norm Johnson, John Kasay, Josh Brown, Olindo Mare, Steven Hauschka, and now Jason Myers. That’s 31 years of Seahawks football in just those six guys. So, I probably take this part of the game for granted. But, when it’s bad, it’s REALLY bad. It’s Blair Walsh losing all confidence in his leg. It’s Brett Maher missing four extra points in a game. It’s teams losing games and churning through the scrap heap over and over again until they get it right.
Did the Seahawks get it right? It would seem so. He previously signed at a fairly high level – 4 years, $15.45 million – and not only earned the entire contract, but an extension and a raise to boot. But, how much do you trust Jason Myers? On even years, I trust him a lot; but those odd years are where he randomly struggles. In reality, if my life depended on it, the only kicker I’d trust is, in fact, Justin Tucker. But, even he missed six field goals last season, five from 50+. Then again, while Myers was a perfect 6 for 6 from 50+, Tucker actually made more than Myers even attempted (9 of 14). So, it’s apples and oranges.
I don’t hate the deal. Even though the Seahawks have mostly been good at finding kickers, it’s still one of the more challenging positions to get right. I’d put it on par with finding a quality quarterback. Look at how everyone fell all over themselves (myself included) when Evan McPherson entered the league in 2021. He was phenomenal! Then, in 2022, he took a huge step back, and now it’s fair to wonder if he’s just as up and down as everyone else.
That’s where kickers and quarterbacks differ. If you have a great quarterback, usually they continue being great year-after-year. Even the best kickers can have random shit luck they have to work through. And, unlike quarterbacks, if you have one or two bad games, you could find your ass on the streets.
Jason Myers has the added challenge of playing half his games in Seattle (and one game a year on that trainwreck of an Arizona field). It’s a different game entirely for those cold weather, outdoor kickers. If you can make it in Seattle – with the rain and the marine layer – you can make it anywhere!
It’s nice not to have this part of the game to worry about. Of course, every time he lines up to kick, we’ll ALWAYS worry (until we see it go through the uprights). But, this is an important offseason for the Seahawks, so not screwing around with the kicker is to our advantage.