Chiefs List Could Include These Kickers

It's been a difficult time for Kansas City Chiefs kicker Lawrence Tynes. It could be get even worse as the team is preparing a list of kickers who could be brought in to compete for kicking duties come opening day. Warpaint Illustrated's Tom Casale breaks down who might be on that list.

Lawrence Tynes is walking the tightrope. Last year Tynes hit 17 of 23 field goals but missed half of his attempts from beyond 40 yards. This preseason hasn't gone the way Tynes envisioned it. After the Vikings game, Tynes was arrested for assault for allegedly punching a bouncer in an altercation at a River Falls bar. Then, after missing two field goals against the Cardinals, head coach Dick Vermeil lashed out saying, "He's in the tank. You miss two field goals like that? Not in the National Football League." After those comments by Vermeil, it is becoming abundantly clear that Tynes will not be kicking for the Chiefs this season. But if the Chiefs cut Tynes, who else is out there? Warpaint Illustrated takes a look at some kickers who are available, or who may become available in the coming weeks, that the Chiefs will consider at place kicker for the upcoming season.

Paul Edinger/Aaron Elling, Vikings – The loser of this battle in Minnesota probably becomes the top candidate to replace Tynes if he is cut. Both Edinger and Elling have experience kicking in the NFL. In 2003, Elling converted 18 of 25 field goals for the Vikings and finished seventh in the NFC in scoring among kickers. Edinger struggled in Chicago over the past two seasons, going a combined 41 out of 60 during that span. Edinger has blamed his poor performance on the weather conditions at Soldiers Field, but that remains to be seen. Despite Edinger's struggles in Chicago, he is the favorite to win the job in Minnesota. That would make Elling, who has also been a kickoff specialist for the Vikings, a leading candidate to be the kicker in Kansas City.

Matt Bryant/Todd France, Bucs – There is another intriguing battle going on in Tampa Bay between consistent Matt Bryant and strong-legged Todd France. Bryant is the favorite to be the starting kicker for the Bucs come opening day. Bryant has hit a respectable 40 out of 50 kicks in his NFL career and he has the experience factor over France. France has never kicked in an NFL game and wasn't spectacular in NFL Europe, converting on 23 of 30 field goals. The one big advantage France has is his strong leg because Bryant doesn't have much range and rarely gets touchbacks on his kickoffs. Look for Bryant's consistency to win out, and if the Bucs don't use France as a kickoff specialist he is another option for the Chiefs.

Doug Brien/Nick Novak, Bears – If you are looking for a dark horse in this race, consider Novak. The former Maryland Terrapin converted 73 percent of his kicks as a senior. Novak has a rocket for a leg, hitting on 7 of 11 field goals from 50-yards and beyond over his college career. Novak is in the Bears' camp, but that job will most likely go to veteran Doug Brien. Brien missed two big field goals last year in the playoffs, but other than that, he was solid for the Jets all season. In the past two years, Brien is 50 for 55 from within 50 yards. Brien isn't much from long distance, but he has the experience and consistency most teams look for. If Novak gets cut and the Chiefs want a young kicker with a strong leg, they may give him a look. If Novak pulls the upset and wins the job, Brien will be a strong possibility for the Chiefs.

Rob Bironas/Ola Kimrin, Titans – Both Bironas and Kimrin may be available for the Chiefs but for the wrong reasons. Neither kicker has been impressive with the Titans so far, and both could be cut. Kimrin has a big leg—he hit a 65-yard field goal against the Seahawks in a preseason game three years ago—but he has always struggled with consistency. Bironas has never kicked in the NFL, and he hasn't had a very impressive camp so far with the Titans. While both these kickers may be available shortly, it's hard to believe the Chiefs would sign a kicker who is less productive than Tynes. However, when it comes to place kickers, anything is possible.

Steve Christie – Christie is a solid veteran who could interest the Chiefs. While he hasn't been spectacular in recent years, Christie hit a serviceable 22 out of 28 field goals for the Giants in 2004. Christie doesn't have the leg strength or accuracy he used to have when he kicked for the Bills in the late-90s, but experience is something that Vermeil is looking for apparently. If Tynes is cut, expect the Chiefs to give Christie a tryout at the very least.

Martin Gramatica – My how the mighty have fallen. Once considered one of the top three kickers in the NFL, Gramatica is now just looking to land a job somewhere. It appears Gramatica has totally lost his confidence. After going just 27 for 45 in his final two seasons with the Bucs, Gramatica converted only 11 of 19 field goals for the Colts last season while filling in for an injured Mike Vanderjagt. Gramatica recently had surgery on his lower abdomen, but he is reportedly fully recovered. Does Gramatica have anything left in the tank? It's up to the Chiefs if they want to roll the dice and find out.

The Andersons – Even though both of them are nearing their 100th birthday, no discussion about a kicking vacancy can be complete without mentioning Gary and Morten Anderson. If the Chiefs are looking for consistency, these two definitely fit that profile. The only problem the team will have is they won't be able to kick a field goal over 35-yards and opposing offenses will start most of their drives at the 40-yard line. But, hey, stranger things have happened.

After Vermeil's comments, it's clear that Tynes is living on borrowed time. The Chiefs will most likely wait and see how some of these kicking battles turn out. If the Chiefs do indeed cut Tynes, look for the loser of the Vikings kicking competition and the experienced Christie to surface as the leading candidates to replace the Chiefs' troubled kicker.

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