Feely's Release No Surprise

The release of veteran kicker Jay Feely, coming off a season where he made 21 of 23 field goals, is likely to come as a big surprise to many around the NFL. But the reality is that the move, which gives the kicking job to undrafted rookie Dan Carpenter, actually was anticipated.

The inevitable might have been clinched on Saturday night when Carpenter hit field goals from 41 and 49 yards.

It really seemed for the longest time the only way Feely was going to save his job was if Carpenter bombed in camp, which he hasn't done.

So why get rid of Feely when he's coming off such a good season?

Well, just look at Bill Parcells and his history of kickers. During his long career in the NFL, his list of kickers has included names like Ali Haji-Sheikh, Eric Schubert, Raul Allegre, Paul McFadden, Matt Bahr, Scott Sisson, John Hall, Billy Cundiff, Jose Cortez and Shaun Suisham.

We're looking at a list of young guys who really hadn't established themselves. Yes, he had Adam Vinatieri in New England in 1996, but that was long before Vinatieri had established himself.

So the pattern is clear: Parcells generally does not see fit to spending big money on a kicker.

Feely was scheduled to make $850,000 in base salary in 2008. It's not a huge number, but still considerably more than Carpenter's $295,000.

Feely also has suggested that the move was made the make the team younger, but Feely is only 32, which isn't that old for a kicker. The truth is Feely still should be a productive kicker by the time the Dolphins are ready to compete.

Feely missed practice most of last week because of a groin injury, but that really doesn't figure much in the decision. The guy, after all, could be ready to kick soon.

Then there's Feely's outspoken nature, which goes against the Parcells principle that kickers should be seen but not heard.

The outspoken Feely kept a very low profile after Parcells and company arrived, but in the end that didn't save his job.

The truth is there might not have been a way for Feely to save his job. On the bright side, he's too good not to get a look with another team, one that puts a little bit more premium on kickers than the Dolphins.

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