Los Angeles Rams need to explore additional options at kicker

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 17: Kicker Greg Zuerlein
SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 17: Kicker Greg Zuerlein /

At 4-0, the Los Angeles Rams are where they want to be, with the exception of their kicking game.  Here are a few names they might consider adding as they wait for Greg Zuerlein to return from injury.

Los Angeles Rams replacement kicker Sam Ficken has gone 1-for-3 in the last two games in Greg Zuerlein‘s absence. Sean McVay was unwilling to commit to him after his missed filed goal that would have clinched the game on Thursday in the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings.

So the Rams are left evaluating the kicking position. On the one hand, they are simply biding time until Zuerlein returns, which could be as soon as a couple of weeks.

On the other hand, kicking has become one of the most important aspects of the game, resulting in wins and losses around the league every week. The Rams would be wise to give it some attention, as a missed kick could cost a game, a first-round bye, or home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

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Another consideration, though, is cap space. The Rams have less than $2 million in cap space as they currently sit.

Signing another kicker, especially one with some veteran experience, would eat into that space, which they may need if they encounter other injuries as the season progresses. Adding a new kicker would cost a minimum of about $30,000 in cap space per week, which is about what they would gain from cutting Ficken, though a veteran could cost more, and that is not counting any potential bonus money.

In the end, here are three kickers the Rams would do well to consider.

Nick Novak

Novak has been a journeyman kicker in his career, playing for six different teams. He is 37, but kickers stay relevant into their late 30’s, so age should not be an issue, and all that bouncing around could presuppose him to dealing with the turbulence of week to week duty with the Rams.

Most importantly, he has played 118 games and is 182 of 222 on field goals, including 17 of 31 from 50+ yards.  His career long is 53, which he has made twice.

Kai Forbath

Forbath is a veteran kicker who was cut by the Vikings in the preseason in favor of Dan Carlson, who went 1 of 4 in two games and ensure his future in a career other than football.

The Vikings should have stayed with Forbath, who as a veteran has made 116 of 135 kicks in his career, is 6 of 9 over 50 yards, and has a career long of 57. He would fill in nicely as Zeurlein’s replacement.

Roberto Aguayo

Aguayo is famous for his hype, and failure to live up to it. The Buccaneers traded up to draft him in the second round (that is not a typo) in the 2016 NFL Draft.

He missed some big kicks and disappointed in his lone season with Tampa Bay. However, he remains one of the better kickers in recent college memory as well as unemployed.

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Aguayo has the least experience and the worst percentage of this bunch, going 22 of 31 in his career with a long of 43 and is 0 for 1 from 50+. This would be a move based on past potential, but he’s worth a tryout and a look.