Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Folk's camp foe now Cundiff instead of Maher


New York Jets kicker Nick Folk got a little breathing room Tuesday, though it didn't last long.

Touted as the frontrunner for the starting placekicker job over rookie Brett Maher, the incumbent Folk saw his competition disappear Tuesday when the team cut the former Husker.

The relief was short lived, however, as Gang Green brought in journeyman Billy Cundiff to battle Folk for the stating spot, according to the team's Twitter feed.

Folk's years with the Jets haven't quite stood up to his time with Dallas, though he's been able to earn the starting role via training camp battles the past couple of years. He started off strong in 2012, making all of his field goals through the first seven games and putting some solid distance on his kickoffs. His second half was not so pretty, and he finished the year near the bottom of the league in field goal percentage and in kickoffs returned, according to Pro Football Focus.

Since his arrival, the 28-year-old has managed only a 77-percent field goal make rate.

As for Cundiff, New York will be the 12th team he's signed with in his career, and Jets will be looking for some of that magic that got him to the Pro Bowl back in 2010 with the Ravens. As Charlie Frankel of the team's website pointed out and according to Pro Football Reference, Cundiff showed proficiency when visiting the Meadowlands in the past, missing only two attempts in 15 tries in New Jersey.

Since then, the 33-year-old's performances have been pretty forgettable, making only 7 of 12 with the Redskins last season before being cut. One kick that hasn't been forgotten is Cundiff's Ray Finkle-like miss in the AFC Championship game against the Patriots a couple of years back that could have extended the Ravens' postseason run.

This battle should prove to be an interesting storyline throughout Jets' training camp, with the team hoping one of the two can step up and perform like they have in the past. Folk is set to make around $800K if he can make it through a third straight summer, while Cundiff's deal is for the veteran minimum.

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