Return Average: 23.0
Outlook: Mare kicks a low, long kickoff that generates a lot of touchbacks, though I fear eventually teams will wise up and return a few. That touchback skill makes him one of the best kickers in football and perhaps one of the best kickers ever. Mare is not properly appreciated because Joe Football Fan and Joe Front Office Exec largely ignore the value of touchbacks and the variability of field goal percentage.
Mare has enjoyed two solid seasons kicking field goals. The big difference between his 2008 and 2009 is that in 2008 he attempted four field goals of 50 yards or more and made three. That one extra miss accounts for the difference in field goal percentage, but three for four from long range is a great achievement. Mare kicks quickly and doesn't struggle with blocks.
Mare turned 37 this past June 6th. I do not know about age-related performance decline for kickers and at least so far, Mare has shown none. Seattle franchised Mare in a somewhat controversial move. It is not that Mare is not valuable, only that kickers that can boom kickoffs are not highly valued, are not difference makers though they are valuable and typically can be found through free agency. Perhaps part of Seattle's reasoning for franchising Mare was so that Nate Burleson and Cory Redding would leave in free agency and Seattle could recoup picks. Whatever that case, it seems unimportant now. Seattle replaced Burleson with Golden Tate and Redding with a bigger, slower defensive tackle. Mare should continue to be an under-appreciated asset for the Seahawks.