A bunch of you have written in calling for Lawrence Tynes' head, or at least his job. Though I don't believe he'll be going anywhere before his inconsistency actually costs the Giants a game or two, I thought it might be fun to see who's out there and create a short list.
As you'll see, it's not particularly an appetizing list, which is another reason Tom Coughlin may have to have a lot of patience with Tynes. Oh, and for the fellow who wrote in that they should give former Colts great Mike Vanderjagt a call, he hasn't kicked since 2006, and he had become an adventure on pressure kicks well before then. But at least he'd probably have a fresh leg, right? Hope the guy was kidding.
Anyway, here's a few players that have recently hit the market.
BILLY CUNDIFF: Oops. He might have been an attractive option had the Browns not snapped him up a few days ago as insurance against Phil Dawson's aching calf. He was still with them as of yesterday, and may well kick Sunday if Dawson's injury doesn't heal. One assumes, though, that he'll be let go once Dawson is right again, so we'll keep him on the list.
MATT STOVER: Few people remember this guy started as a Giants prospect about a hundred years ago. Then he latched on with Cleveland and made the move with them to Baltimore, where he became one of the most consistent kickers in the league. He's 41, though, and lost his job this year probably because he was only 5-of-10 in '08 from 40 and beyond.
MATT BRYANT: A hamstring injury cost him his job with the Bucs. He's a better kicker now than he was with the Giants from 2002-03, but don't know if this squad would benefit from a re-do. Besides, those hamstrings take a long time to heal.
MARTIN GRAMATICA: Was kind of surprised to see him pop up with the Saints last year. And after a 6-for-10 field goal record in five games -- 3-for-7 from 40 and beyond -- I'd be surprised to see him any place else.
CONNOR BARTH: He did okay for the Chiefs last year, but they waived him on July 29. Then, he failed to catch on with the Dolphins, who waived him Aug. 29. He's only 22, though, so there's a lot of development left for the kid. If they ever bring him in and he shows potential, he might be the guy.
Oh, and the guy who asked for John Carney, the 44-year-old who replaced Tynes last season and went a robot-like 35-of-38? He signed with the Saints when Garrett Hartley was suspended for the first four games of the season. This is Game 4 coming up, but I'd be shocked if they let Carney go if he continues his 5-for-6 efficiency of the first three games. But if he does get cut, he'd certainly be worth the look.
This, of course, is all contingent on Tynes falling down the rabbit hole. Right now, his only problems have come in close, and he attributes those problems to crouching over the ball and losing balance instead of approaching the ball in a straighter standing position.
Special teams coach Tom Quinn said Tynes just started tinkering with his field goal mechanics about 10 days ago, shortly after he missed the 29-yarder in Dallas. "It's just something that crept up on us," Quinn said. That was after months of adjusting his kickoffs by shortening his approach from 10 yards to seven, and then to six, to get better length on them. Tynes said he actually took a two-step field goal approach in Dallas that worked.
We'll see whether Tynes gets himself straightened out in Kansas City. If his field goal troubles persist, or worse, if he costs the Giants a game, Coughlin's own short list won't be far away.
But it's not time for that yet.
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