NFC West: Leo Araguz

Punting adventures test nerves

December, 1, 2008
12/01/08
4:59
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Instability at punter can be an adventure. The Seahawks learned that lesson the hard way in 2004 and 2005 -- see: Araguz, Leo -- but the team's switch from Ryan Plackemeier to Jon Ryan this season has worked out favorably. In fact, the Packers are surely regretting their decision to cut Ryan in favor of Derrick Frost.

The Cardinals might be looking for a boost at the position, with Dirk Johnson possibly on his way out, according to Kent Somers. Update: This move is done. The team just announced it.

Former Jets and Saints punter Ben Graham could be a candidate to replace Johnson. Graham had a tryout with Tampa Bay over the weekend. He previously had tryouts with the Jaguars, Patriots, Bengals and Cowboys.

As Somers notes, the Cardinals have stuck with Johnson this long in part because Johnson holds for field goals and extra points. Kickers can be particular about their holders. Neil Rackers has kicked with great accuracy this season. Breaking in a new holder carries risks.

But with Johnson muffing a hold against the Giants in Week 12, it's tougher to defend his value in that area. Johnson's suffered a similar mishap against the Panthers in Week 8. His poor throw on a fake field goal against Carolina also proved costly for the Cardinals.

Johnson's 35.2-yard net average ranks 26th in the NFL this season among players with at least 25 punts.

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