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Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Jets on the lookout for a new kicker


ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini reports the New York Jets are looking at possible replacements for kicker Nick Folk.

Cimini writes the Jets will audition an unnamed free agent Tuesday but added it could be a contingency plan rather than for an immediate switch. The Jets have reported no injuries for Folk, but he has been unreliable lately on field goals and kickoffs.

Folk has missed at least one field goal in four of the Jets' past five games. He missed three in the Week 10 overtime road victory over the Cleveland Browns.

In Thursday's win over the Cincinnati Bengals, he missed a 44-yard field goal attempt, had an extra point bounce in off the upright and dropped three of his five kickoffs at the 14-yard line.

As harrowing as Jets games have been, they might not be able to trust Folk in Monday night's big rematch with the New England Patriots in Gillette Stadium.

Notable unattached kickers include Matt Stover, Kris Brown (missed a kick for the San Diego Chargers that would've forced overtime with the Patriots in Week 7), Jeff Reed (recently cut by the Pittsburgh Steelers) and John Carney (released by the New Orleans Saints in October).

Stover is an intriguing possibility. Jets head coach Rex Ryan often refers to Stover glowingly when dropping an anecdote about his days as the Baltimore Ravens' defensive coordinator.

At training camp in August, I asked Ryan if he had any great stories about a veteran player sabotaging a rookie's development to keep his standing on the roster. Here was Ryan's answer:

"The classic guy for that is Matt Stover," Ryan said. "Matt Stover kicked for 15 years and can still kick today, I'm sure. But you bring another kicker in, the guy would be booming the ball. It was unbelievable. The guy was just killing it. Every kickoff 8 yards deep, launching field goals.

"By the time Stover was done with [the tryout kickers], you never knew if they were kicking right-footed or left-footed. He was legendary for it."