Is Bill Belichick punting on the kicker position in 2020?
We'd imagine the New England Patriots will have a kicker on their roster next Sunday for their season opener against the Miami Dolphins. But at the moment, New England is kicker-less after surprisingly releasing rookie Justin Rohrwasser and veteran Nick Folk on Saturday.
So, what are the Patriots' options at the position?
The first (and perhaps most likely) option is that they place a player on injured reserve and re-sign Folk, who doesn't have to clear waivers under the NFL's new rules for 2020.
The Patriots could do the same with Rohrwasser, or add the rookie to their practice squad while the veteran Folk takes the starting job.
The other (and more exciting) option is that New England signs a kicker in free agency. There are always experienced legs on the kicker market, and 2020 is no exception, as several big names have been released in recent days.
Here's a list of some notable free-agent kickers:
Matt Gay, Graham Gano, Stephen Hauschka, Kai Forbath, Chase McLaughlin, Cairo Santos, Giorgio Tavecchio, Matt Bryant, Adam Vinatieri, Aldrick Rosas, Lirim Hajrullahu
There's plenty of made field goals on that list, especially from old friend Vinatieri, who would be the NFL's oldest active player at age 47 if the Patriots brought him back for a second stint.
Gay and Santos also are intriguing targets after their recent releases from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chicago Bears, respectively, while the Boston Herald's Karen Guregian provided some color on Hajrullahu.
Belichick likely won't want to spend big at kicker, so don't expect a major splash here. But if New England doesn't re-sign Folk, it shouldn't have trouble finding a kicker before Week 1.