Rams part ways with this starter, but who will replace him?

Lucas Havrisik, Los Angeles Rams
Lucas Havrisik, Los Angeles Rams / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The LA Rams won in Week 17 by a score of 26-25. By all rights, the Rams scored four touchdowns on the day and did not attempt a single two-point conversion. That means that the LA Rams should have ended the game with 28 points. The Giants may still have tied the game with a late field goal, but the Rams would not have been at risk to lose the game by the random impact of a placekicker.

If not for the New York Giants' own struggles with kicker Mason Crosby, the Rams would not have won in Week 17. But he did, they did, and the Rams have clinched a playoff berth. But the LA Rams have decided that they can do better than two out of four on extra-point attempts. I, for one, agree with them.

And so, the LA Rams are hanging up the 'Help wanted: Kicker Apply within" sign once more. The Rams have rifled through four kickers so far in 2023. In 2021, the Rams had to trial and reject four kickers before landing placekicker Matt Gay.

Yes, the kicker only has one job to do in the NFL: Make field goals. That is particularly true for the LA Rams, a team that has assigned kickoff duties to punter Ethan Evans. But finding that 'right guy' to kick field goals is a very challenging task for the Rams it seems.

So far the LA Rams have trialed rookie kicker Christopher Dunn (FA), rookie kicker Tanner Brown (FA), veteran kicker Brett Maher (FA), and now the Rams have parted ways with kicker Lucas Havrisik (FA). The Rams have yet to have a kicker on the roster who can make field goals at a rate of 80+ percent. Two of the areas that the Rams insist on from the placekicker are the ability to make field goals from a distance of 40+ yards and to make all extra points.

In 2023, Rams kickers have only made 14 of 25 field goals from a distance of 40+ yards, and the group has only made 31 of 35 extra points. But the LA Rams have a bigger problem: No kicker on the roster.

Lucas Havrisik did not have a great situation to come into. Kickers in the NFL, unlike other positions, do not get graded on the curve nor do they have a chance to overcompensate one weakness by excelling in another. It's a pass-fail grading system, and the passing grade is pretty much a B+ letter grade or better. For the Rams, Havisik has been squeaking by with a C.

The Rams have limited options this late in the 2023 NFL season. Some options are:

  1. K Ryan Succop - 81.6 % overall, 73.6 % 40+ yards, 96 % XPts
  2. K Robbie Gould - 84.4 % overall, 69.2 % 40+ yards, 98 % XPts
  3. K Tristan Vizcaino - 100 % overall, 100 % 40+ yards, 100 % XPts (but only kicked 3 FGs)

Perhaps the Rams will bring in a kicker who was given a try out earlier in the season? It's easy to point to a player and lobby hard to release him. But it's a two-step process, and now the LA Rams must find a new kicker in Week 18 of the 2023 NFL season.

I won't lie. Pickings are pretty slim rig