Nick Folk still Jets' kicker of choice

Updated: August 27, 2012, 10:42 PM ET
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com

For the second straight year, New York Jets kicker Nick Folk survived a training-camp battle for the job. This time, he beat out veteran Josh Brown, who tweeted Monday morning that he no longer was a Jet.

A league source confirmed that the Jets are planning to release Brown, a nine-year veteran who probably killed his chances by missing a field goal attempt from 45 yards in Sunday night's 17-12 loss to the Carolina Panthers.

The Jets, not satisfied with Folk's performance last season, signed Brown to a one-year contract in May, shortly after he was released by the St. Louis Rams. Statistically, Folk outperformed Brown in training-camp practices by only a small percentage. In three games, Folk made all four field goal attempts, while Brown finished 3-for-4.

Longtime special-teams coordinator Mike Westhoff last Friday called it "absolutely the most efficient, competitive battle I've ever seen. I've had some great kickers in my career, but no one's had a better camp than these two guys have had. It's the best kicking competition I've ever seen."

Privately, the Jets were leaning toward Folk going into Sunday night, saying they would re-evaluate the competition after the game.

By keeping Folk over Brown, the Jets are sacrificing some distance on kickoffs, an area in which Folk slipped late last season. In preseason, Brown recorded touchbacks on all four kickoffs, while Folk made touchbacks on only three of seven kickoffs.

Folk made only 76 percent of his field goal tries last season, his second year with the Jets, but he made some clutch kicks for them in the 2010 postseason. He was a slightly cheaper option for the cap-strapped Jets. Folk, on a one-year, $765,000 contract, will count $90,000 less on the cap than Brown would've cost.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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