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Let’s talk about Jason Myers

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Back in March when free agency arrived, fans of the Seattle Seahawks were hopeful that the team would take some of its cap space and aggressively go after a big name free agent. Whether that was to get a pass rusher like Trey Flowers or Preston Smith, or an offensive lineman like Trent Brown or Daryl Williams, fans were hopeful.

Instead, the Seahawks were largely inactive in their pursuit of outside free agents, with the biggest acquisition coming in the form of kicker Jason Myers.

Myers, who had lost a kicking competition in camp to Sebastian Janikowski during the 2018 offseason with Seattle and was waived during training camp. He then went on to have a Pro Bowl season with the New York Jets, while Janikowski had a season that is not out of the realm of what could be expected of a kicker in their forties coming off back surgery.

Thus, it appeared to many fans not only as a righting of having possibly made the wrong choice of kickers in 2018, it was a chance for Myers to return and spend the foreseeable future with the Seahawks while Seattle fans could relax and stop worrying about kickers. Unfortunately for Seattle fans, that has proven not to be the case. Instead, Myers has continued the kicking worries that have plagued the Seahawks for years, and Sunday marked what has been, by far, his worst game with the team so far.

On the day Myers was just two of four on field goal attempts, while also missing an extra point. Russell Wilson and the offense bailed Myers out with an opening drive touchdown in overtime, but that bailout wouldn’t have been needed if Myers had hit this potential game winner.

A potentially game winning - or game tying - kick for the Seahawks not going through the uprights has become almost routine for Seattle fans.

The kicking struggles have led fans to lament the Hawks stinginess with Stephen Hauschka following the 2016 season, and the decision of the front office to allow him to sign with the Buffalo Bills as a free agent. However, Hauschka had his own late game struggles for Seattle before departing.

So, getting back to the present, the question becomes what are the options for the team going forward? There is not exactly a stockpile of quality kickers sitting around waiting for teams to call. The Chicago Bears have tried to analyze their way out of their kicking issues after their 2018 season ended on a partially blocked field goal, and, at least so far, it appears to have been a faulty plan. Other teams have switched kickers, like the Atlanta Falcons who cut Matt Bryant after he missed two field goals against the Seahawks in Week 8 that may have cost Atlanta a shot at the upset of the Hawks.

It appears as though the Seahawks choices boil down to two options:

  • Tough it out with Myers
  • Cut Myers and hope whoever they sign off the street is better

If the decision is the latter, then who would be better for Seattle than Myers? Here’s a list of some of the free agent kickers who are available:

  • Cody Parkey - cut by Bears after missing potential game winning field goal in playoffs
  • Blair Walsh - unemployed since missing potential game winning field goal in Week 17 2017
  • Mike Nugent - cut by New England Patriots after going 2-4 on field goals in Week 8
  • Cairo Santos - cut by Tennessee Titans after going 0-4 on field goals in 14-7 Week 5 loss to Buffalo Bills
  • Kai Forbath - currently unemployed after kicking for four different teams from 2015-2018
  • Roberto Aguayo - I’m just kidding

In short, the options out there aren’t great, and the simple fact of the matter is that kickers are largely irrelevant. There are certainly kickers who are better than others, but for the most part the results of field goal attempts are a lot like the results at the slot machine. Sometimes things will be good, and sometimes things will be bad, but at the end of the day there’s a long run payout ratio that will be hit. Thus, the short term results are nothing more than the randomness that results when sitting down to pull the wheel a few dozen times a season.

Seattle seems to understand this, and it looks like they are prepared to ride out the season based on Pete Carroll’s unprompted comments in his post-game press conference Sunday.

However, many fans don’t seem to be on board with this idea and would prefer what’s behind door number two, whatever that may be.

Okay, well, you get the point.

But cutting Myers would only be half of the situation. What should the team do at the position?