Friday, February 28, 2014

Bills have reference points for Carpenter negotiations


Friday morning, the Buffalo Bills were still mulling two options with kicker Dan Carpenter -- negotiate a multi-year deal or slap the franchise tag on him.

By Friday afternoon, those options likely didn't change much; they just became a little more explicit.

Two fellow placekickers -- Graham Gano and division rival Nick Folk -- recently landed deals that have solidified their contracts for the 2014 season. Gano, according to Jason La Canfora of, negotiated a four-year, $12.4 million deal with Carolina, while the Jets tagged Folk for an estimated $3.4 million.

That leaves Buffalo with some points of reference the next few days as they continue to decide which route to go with their kicker. In terms of overall consistency, Folk and Carpenter were cut from the same cloth last season, each averaging 91.7 percent of field goals made on a similar amount of overall kicks attempted. They also had similar kickoff numbers in terms of touchbacks, with Carpenter tallying 34 and Folk kicking 30.

The numbers between Carpenter and Gano are similar, as well. As Chris Brown of pointed out Friday, the two have had comparable success from long range, though Carpenter missed two more kicks from outside 40 yards (18 for 22) than Gano, who attempted three less (17 for 19).

The conclusion?

Even without breaking down the numbers, it's pretty obvious that Carpenter's out for a payday. The 28-year-old made a little more than $700K last year and posted numbers that broke not only career highs but landed him in the Bills' record books, as well.

Based on Folk and Gano, the yearly breakdown of each option is nearly identical -- somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 million a year -- and general manager Doug Whaley's decision will likely come down to how consistent he believes Carpenter can be this season, and the next few to come. That's a trait Carpenter has lacked in his career and what ultimately led to his demise in Miami.

The team has until 4 p.m. Monday to decide whether to use the franchise tag, and negotiations with free agents can start March 8.

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