The New York Jets have signed their new kicker and it’s a familiar face. Chandler Catanzaro will return to the team in 2019 to assume kicking duties.
The New York Jets will evidently be reworking their special teams unit in 2019 but one specific player will be returning, although it’s not who most would expect. Chandler Catanzaro has been signed to take over as the team’s kicker after spending the 2018 season away from New York.
Catanzaro spent the first three seasons of his NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals putting together excellent 2014 and 2015 campaigns before falling off in 2016. As a result, Arizona opted not to bring him back and he was signed by the Jets ahead of the 2017 season.
The Clemson product would go on to have a solid year with the Jets connecting on 25-of-30 kicks including a team-record 57-yarder. However, Catanzaro would not re-sign with the team and instead departed for Tampa Bay to kick with the Buccaneers in 2018.
Unfortunately, Catanzaro struggled mightily missing four of his 27 extra point attempts and only making 73% of his field goals before being released mid-season. He was picked up by the Carolina Panthers before long and finished the season up strongly making all five field goal attempts and missing just one extra point.
Catanzaro now returns to the Jets and will have big shoes to fill taking over for 2018 Pro Bowler Jason Myers.
Catanzaro’s contract is unknown at this time. We will update this section when more information becomes available.
— SNY (@SNYtv) March 15, 2019
Jets announced they have signed K Chandler Catanzaro….
He kicked for NYJ in 2017.
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) March 15, 2019
— New York Post (@nypost) March 15, 2019
While it’s certainly odd to see the Jets completely reshaping their special teams unit after an incredible 2018, the decision to change kickers is one that does make some sense.
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Myers was, for all intents and purposes, an anomaly in 2018 after three lackluster seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jets essentially signed him off the scrap heap before he went on to have a career-year resulting in a Pro Bowl nod.
But to expect the same production out of him in 2019 and beyond would be foolish. Especially given the fact that he did struggle a bit down the stretch in the final few weeks of the season.
Catanzaro gives the Jets a proven option who has had success with the team in the past. Yes, he did struggle last season primarily with extra points but that hasn’t been an issue in the past — seeing as he made all 29 of his with the Jets — so it could be overlooked as just a bad season.
After all, kickers are hit and miss with very few being able to remain solid, reliable options for the long-term. While Catanzaro isn’t fresh off a Pro Bowl season like Myers, he may end up having the better season in 2019.
It’s too early to say, but out of all the Jets puzzling special teams moves, this is the one that makes the most sense.