Should the Saints cut Shayne Graham?


Here we are, sitting at 1-3 with our souls crushed after a disappointing (to say the least) loss to the Dallas Cowboys on national TV. What went wrong in that game? Everything. Offense, defense and special teams all failed. And in such a ready-to-push-the-panic-button moment there’s one thing the Saints can not afford to have: an unreliable kicker. Let’s revisit Graham’s tenure with the Saints.


Graham was signed in December after the release of Who Dat Nation’s idol Garrett Hartley. Graham played two regular season games and went 2/2 on field goals and never missed an extra point. In the postseason he had a perfect game in Philadelphia where he connected on all four attempts, kept the Saints in the game and clinched the game with the game-winner.

In a windy, rainy Seattle he then went 0/2 and the Saints lost the game 23-15.


Saints decided to bring in former Buccaneer Derek Dimke to create some competition in training camp. Graham is the first kicker in NFL history to miss a 33-yard extra point, an innovation that the NFL tested the first two games of the preseason. Apart from that, both kickers did ok during the preseason. Sean Payton eventually goes with the veteran Graham.


Through four games Graham did not perform well: he did ok in Atlanta and in Cleveland, hitting 4/4 field goals, a 50-yarder being the longest attempt. Against the Vikings he missed an extra point – c’mon man! – and Sunday night against the Cowboys he missed a 41-yard field goal that would’ve put the Saints on the board and gave the team some momentum.


Now if you’re thinking ‘yeah, maybe we should get rid of him‘ your next question will probably be ‘who’s available to replace him?‘. Here’s a few names:

Derek Dimke: this is the option that would make more sense. Dimke spent all summer with the team and kicked well in the preseason.

David Akers: the 16-year veteran is currently unemployed and last year he went 19/24 with the Detroit Lions.

Giorgio Tavecchio: the italian kicker would be a risk since he never kicked a field goal in an NFL regular season game but, in fairness, he never really had chance until this year when he spent the offseason in Detroit kicking for the Lions, who eventually decided to go with the rookie Nate Freese over Tavecchio. Freese has been cut after three games. Tavecchio was previously with the 49ers (2012) and the Packers (2013) but it was almost impossible to steal the job from David Akers and Mason Crosby.

Garrett Hartley: well, he certainly looks ready to come back. Is it time for a sweet reunion?

What do you think the Saints should do? Keep Shayne Graham or go another direction?

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