The New York Jets Should Take a Chance on This ‘Can’t-Miss’ Kicker
The job of the placekicker in football is pretty cut-and-dry. You kick the ball through the uprights, you keep your job; you don't, and you're gone.
So, let me ask you this: if a kicker *always* kicks the ball through the uprights, should he have a job? Why yes, Dan, yes he should.
Allow me to introduce you to Eddy Piniero.
ESPN's Adam Schefter had the news this morning that Piniero had been waived by the Indianapolis Colts, with the likely intention of releasing the kicker. It's a unique situation, however, as Schefter mentions that Piniero did not miss a kick during the preseason. That's an impressive feat for any kicker, and yet Piniero appears to be the odd man out in Indy.
So, if you're the New York Jets, the kicker position has been a revolving door for many seasons now. With all due respect to Matt Ammendola, the position could still use an upgrade, and the team should consider bringing Piniero into the mix.
Piniero was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Oakland Raiders, and after being traded to the Chicago Bears, made his NFL debut in 2019. Piniero finished 18th in the NFL in field goal make percentage that season, and was 16th among players who played in all 16 games. That said, he was perfect in his final five games of the 2019 regular season, coming in clutch for the Bears down the stretch. He grew immensely in his rookie season, and would've continued to grow if an injury hadn't sidelined him for all of 2020.
The Jets' current plan is to stick with Matt Ammendola, who is slated to attempt his first field goal in the NFL is he remains the team's kicker. Ammendola was lights-out on extra points in college as a member of Oklahoma State. He was not, however, automatic kicking normal field goals, and did not have a make percentage reach 80% in any of his three seasons as a starter with OK State. He's a bit of a risk, to say the least.
Now, Ammendola did have a strong showing this past weekend against the Green Bay Packers:
Ammendola connected on all three of his field-goal attempts and added a pair of PATs in Saturday's 23-14 preseason win over the Packers. - ESPN Fantasy
That said, a bit of late competition won't hurt either of the participants, and Piniero comes with bona fide NFL experience kicking with another team whose offense was still growing and developing. For me, Piniero is a "can't-miss" opportunity for the Jets to upgrade a position on their roster quickly.