NEW YORK (BVM) – Up until the 2019 season, Greg Zuerlein was seen as arguably the best kicker in the league.
Most Field Goals made over the last 10 seasons
Justin Tucker 326
Greg Zuerlein 264
Matt Prater 260
Stephen Gostkowski 251
Mason Crosby 239 pic.twitter.com/Yldvb0s4WX
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) August 8, 2022
In 2017, he made 95% of his field goals with a long of 56 yards. In 2018, he made 87.1% of his attempts.
— NFL (@NFL) January 20, 2019
But in 2019, he was not the same. He made only 72.7% of his field goals that year. After eight seasons, Zuerlein and the Rams parted ways, leading to his signing with the Cowboys for the 2020 season.
After a couple of decent years in Dallas, Zuerlein was cut.
Most NFL fans likely do not know where the Pro Bowl kicker is nowadays. But he’s still in the league.
The 34-year-old enters the 2022 preseason with the New York Jets in a kicker competition with Eddy Piñeiro. While Zuerlein may have a better resume, kicker battles are typically determined by whoever has the momentum.
And while Zuerlein may be the bigger name, Piñeiro may be the more popular one amongst Jets fans with the way he finished last season. He played in five games in 2021 going 8-for-8 on field goals.
But with his track record, it is hard to make the argument that Zuerlein is not the favorite to win the job.
In 2018, New York brought in Jason Myers and he blew away all expectations. He made 33-of-36 field goals that season and gave the Jets confidence any time they needed a big kick.
The only problem was that they signed him to a one-year deal.
After the season, the Jets opted not to give him a big contract and Myers took a four–year, $15.5 million contract with Seattle. New York has had a revolving door at kicker ever since.
But with Zuerlein on the roster, there is an opportunity to finally shut that door. And for Zuerlein, there is an opportunity to put himself into the upper echelon of all-time kickers if he can tap back into what he did with the Rams’ organization.