- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas – One of the reasons Wade Phillips is willing to exercise a little patience with David Buehler is because he doesn’t see any great kicking options on the open market.
“Once you get over 40, there are some kickers out there, but I’m not so sure they could kick it that far,” Phillips said.
Three names pop to mind when it comes to proven, unemployed kickers. None of the three could be relied upon from 40-plus last season.
Matt Stover, the 42-year-old Lake Highlands product, attempted only three field goals from 40-plus for the Colts last season. He made two, missing from 52 yards. He was 13-of-23 from 40-plus for the Ravens the previous two seasons. But Stover is money from inside 40, hitting 87 of 90 from that range
John Carney, 46, made 13 of 17 field goals for the Saints before they opted to go with Garrett Hartley last season. He was 2 of 3 from 40-plus and has attempted only two field goals from 50-plus in the last six seasons.
Kris Brown, who lost the Texans’ camp kicking competition, had his worst season as a pro last year. He converted only 21 of 32 attempts, which doesn’t look too terrible considering the Cowboys’ recent kicking woes. He made only 4 of 10 from beyond 40 yards.
But Brown, 33, is only two years removed from a 29-of-33 season. He made 8 of 10 from 40-49 and 2 of 3 from 50-plus in 2008. He was 5 of 5 from 50-plus the previous season.
Buehler is obviously a better kickoff man, but it’s definitely debatable whether he’d be a better option than Brown on long field goals.
A side benefit of signing Brown: He’d team with Buehler to make what must be the most athletic kicking combo in NFL history. Brown won a couple of Class 3A state titles as an option quarterback at Southlake Carroll.