As another lost New York Jets season unfolds, it’s time to evaluate this 53-man roster from top to bottom. Let’s continue this daily ranking with Sam Ficken at #47.
This trainwreck goes back before he was in charge — to former general manager Mike Maccagnan’s inexplicable decision to lowball the team’s dynamic All-Pro kicker Jason Myers.
That monstrous mistake led to a string of disappointments.
To likely the worst-ever gameday kicking exhibition by big-legged Norwegian waiver claim Kaare Vedvik (who, 12 weeks after his laughable one-game Jets career, was shockingly signed to the Cincinnati Bengals’ practice squad).
Prior to the season’s second game, the Jets held a circus-like tryout with multiple kickers in Florham Park that yielded Sam Ficken, an All-Big Ten Penn State star and former Indiana high school soccer legend noted for his 2014 Pinstripe Bowl overtime heroics over Boston College.
Ficken went undrafted in 2015 — before journeyman stints with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams, and Green Bay Packers.
The kicker enjoyed the best performance of his pro career — a 44-yard “walk off” field goal with three seconds left on the clock, that resulted in an unlikely 22-21 Jets home victory over the Miami Dolphins, as he got carried off the home field by defensive lineman Nathan Shepherd.
He followed that up with a 3-for-3 day against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 16 that included a career-long 54-yarder.
But the 32-team league’s No. 32-ranked kicker has simply missed too many chip-shot threes (17-of-23) and gimme PATs (22-of-25) to receive a contract to return to MetLife Stadium in 2020.