Kicking It - New Orleans Saints Style

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Aug 22, 2011; Oxnard, CA, USA; New Orleans Saints kicker Garrett Hartley (5) attempts a field goal out of the hold of Thomas Morsted (6) at training camp at the River Ridge Fields at the Residence Inn. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

In early March of 2011, the New Orleans Saints signed the talented youngster, Garrett Hartley to a five-year contract.  With $2.526 million coming just from inking on the line, it’s hard to believe that the incumbent John Kasay will start the season as the everyday kicker.

The deal also has performance bonuses written into it, which could boost the value of the contract, especially in the last four years of the deal (which begin this season).

Looking back, it’s difficult to believe that Hartley hasn’t seen the field as the Saints regular kicker since a 40-20 win over the Oakland Raiders on August 28, 2011.

Forced to leave early with a strained hip flexor, after an extra point gone wrong, the Saints were forced to go for 2 the rest of the night, as they didn’t have an immediate backup plan.

The backup plan eventually materialzed into veteran kicker John Kasay, a 42-year-old whom the Carolina Panthers let loose.  All Kasay did for the Black and Gold was finish with the most points he has ever had in his career.

His 34 field goal attempts ranked in the top 10 overall, and tied a personal record for third-most in his career.  Of his 34 kicks, he made 28, including a 2 for 5 mark on attempts of 50+.

The Saints brought him back this offseason, and his consistency being what it is, it’d be tough to think he doesn’t at least have some shot at the starting job. 

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