We’ve signed WR Donte Moncrief and released K Brett Maher.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) August 31, 2020
Maher’s release means that Sam Ficken has won the kicking battle – at least for now.
Ficken and Maher, who ranked 30th and 32nd in field goal percentage last year, respectively, seemed to be neck-and-neck throughout camp, but it appears that Ficken sealed the deal at yesterday’s MetLife Stadium practice.
Sam Ficken converted 4 straight field goals during his reps (33, 41, 48 and 52 yards), then Brett Maher made 2 of 4 (made 33, 41, missed 48, 52) #Jets
— Chris Ryan (@ChrisRyan_NJ) August 30, 2020
Going into the season with Ficken at kicker is nerve-wracking. Since 2017, Ficken has made only 66.7% of his field goal attempts (22-of-33), the worst mark out of 37 qualified kickers over that span. He has also made only 90.2% of his extra point attempts (37-of-41), the fifth-worst rate since 2017.
Ficken has converted at a below-average level in all areas of the field throughout his short career.
Joe Douglas would be wise to bring in another competitor for Ficken rather than settle on a player who has performed very poorly throughout his career to date. The best players available are Stephen Hauschka, recently cut by Buffalo, and Stephen Gostkowski, cut by New England during the 2019 season. Both players’ most recent move was working out with Tennessee, so at least one will be available.
For now, Ficken will be doing the kickin’, and that’s not a good thing for the Jets.