Giants sign kicker

The Giants signed Bill Gramatica, a left-footed kicker who has made 75 percent of his NFL field goal attempts and all 60 of his extra point tries. <BR><BR>

Gramatica played his first three seasons for the Arizona Cardinals, for whom he made 34 of 45 field goal attempts. He did not receive a qualifying offer this offseason from the Cardinals and became a free agent. Gramatica is expected to compete with incumbent Matt Bryant for the Giants kicking job. The Giants recently signed another kicker, Todd France, who has no NFL regular season experience.

In 2003, Gramatica played in the Cardinals' first four games before he was sidelined with a back injury. He made three of four field goal attempts - the miss was a 53-yarder - and six of six PATs. Gramatica was inactive for six games before he was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 18.

Gramatica, a product of the University of South Florida, entered the NFL as the Cardinals' 2001 fourth-round draft choice, the 98th overall selection. That year he set Cardinals rookie records with 16 field goals (in 20 attempts) and longest field goal (50 yards). He kicked a career-high four field goals at Oakland on Dec. 2, 2001.

His rookie season was cut short by a freakish injury, ironically suffered against the Giants. On Dec. 15 in Giants Stadium, Gramatica landed awkwardly on his right knee after leaping to celebrate a 42-yard field goal in the first quarter. Because of Gramatica's injury, Pat Tillman, the Army Ranger who was killed in Afghanistan last month, handled kickoff duties for the remainder of the game. Gramatica underwent surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Gramatica returned at full strength in 2002 and played in all 16 games, making 15 of 21 field goal attempts and all 29 of his extra point tries for 74 points, one more than his rookie total. He was 14-for-17 on field goal attempts inside 50 yards. Gramatica also tied his career long with a 50-yard three-pointer at Carolina on Oct. 6, 2002.


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