The NY Jets have been searching for a kicker for years ever since letting Pro Bowler Jason Myers walk in free agency following the 2018 season. And they hoped that they had found one in undrafted rookie Matt Ammendola.
Unfortunately, Ammendola's struggles from long-range have become an increasing issue. So much so that the Jets might be looking to replace him in the near future.
The Jets went out and signed former Pitt standout Alex Kessman to their practice squad last week. And following another missed kick from Ammendola in Sunday's 21-14 victory over the Houston Texans, this time from 42 yards out, Kessman is getting an opportunity to prove his worth.
Kessman was one of four players on their practice squad the Jets chose to protect this week. When speaking to the media on Wednesday, head coach Robert Saleh said that the Jets would have an "open competition" at kicker this week in practice.
Presumably, whichever kicker looks the best in practice this week will get the nod on Sunday.
The NY Jets are looking to upgrade over Matt Ammendola
The list of kickers the Jets have run through over the last three years alone is pretty remarkable. Chandler Catanzaro, Taylor Bertolet, Kaare Vedvik, Sam Ficken, Sergio Castillo, Chase McLaughlin, and Chris Naggar have all been given an opportunity to win the job, only to fail.
Ammendola is hoping not to become the latest entry in that depressing list of failed kicker experiments.
Signed this past summer, the former undrafted free agent won the job in training camp beating out fellow undrafted free agent Chris Naggar.
In 11 games, Ammendola has made just 13-of-19 kicks including only 2-of-8 from 40 yards or more. He has the leg to make it from long-distance, but his accuracy has been a major concern.
Kessman's scouting report tells a similar story. The Michigan native connected on just 72 percent of his kicks in college, but that did include a 58-yarder in 2020.
He also set the record for the longest kick ever made at Heinz Field (home of the Pittsburgh Steelers) by a collegiate or professional athlete when he nailed a 55-yarder back in 2018.
The Jets clearly have a type. And this week will determine which of the two is kicking come Sunday.