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Ravens release Steve Hauschka

The Baltimore Ravens have waived kicker Steve Hauschka, officially making a move that’s only surprising because it didn’t happen sooner.

Hauschka missed his fourth field goal of the season on Monday night, a 36-yard attempt that went wide left. Ravens coach John Harbaugh said after the game that he talked to Hauschka, and that the kicker knew he was on thin ice.

“We’ve been evaluating the kicking position,” Harbaugh said. “Steve and I had a great talk on Tuesday night, and he’ll be the first to tell you that he needs to kick better than that. He kicks better than that in practice and he’s kicked better in games up until this point. He just didn’t do the job tonight and I think he knows that.”

Said Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, “Every one of our players has to step up to a Ravens’ level of play and that was not happening for Steve right now.”

It’s unclear who the Ravens’ next kicker will be, but former Jets kicker Mike Nugent and former Cowboys kicker Billy Cundiff worked out for the team last week, and Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times tweets that they’re the top candidates.

Hauschka leaves the Ravens having made 10 of 15 field goal attempts in 17 games. In October he missed a potentially game-winning kick against the Vikings, and this month he missed a kick that would have kept the Ravens alive in a close game against the Bengals.