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Titans to enter training camp with risky proposition at kicker

How much confidence does this kicking battle inspire?

Syndication: The Tennessean Andrew Nelles / / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Tennessee Titans are mere weeks away from entering training camp with two unproven kickers on the 90-man roster. Second-year undrafted free agent Caleb Shudak is battling against first-year UDFA Trey Wolff to earn the team’s kicking job. Hopefully general manager Ran Carthon isn’t repeating Jon Robinson’s mistakes when it comes to the kicking game.

Carthon released starting kicker Randy Bullock earlier this offseason in a cost-cutting move that cleared approximately $2 million against the 2023. Cutting Bullock was the right move. Bullock’s departure means the competition for Tennessee’s kicking gig is currently wide open.

Shudak appeared in one regular-season contest in 2022. The former Iowa kicker converted 3-of-4 attempts in a late-November loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Shudak’s lone miss was a crucial misfire as the Titans were defeated by a four-point margin (20-16). He spent the majority of the season on IR after suffering an injury in the summer that prevented him from initially challenging Bullock.

Wolff was outstanding for Texas Tech throughout the 2022 campaign. He appeared in all 13 contests as the Red Raiders’ placekicker. Wolff converted 21-of-25 attempts (84.0%) while nailing 41-of-42 of his extra points. But kicking in the NFL is a different beast altogether.

By all accounts, Shudak outperformed Wolff throughout OTAs. That’s an expected outcome given Shudak is more familiar with NFL practice conditions. It’ll be worth monitoring their head-to-head battle throughout training camp and the preseason.

Carthon could always add a veteran kicker if Shudak and Wolff underwhelm. Several options are available, but they’re all aging and declining. Robbie Gould is probably the best option. A reunion with Bullock remains a distinct possibility.

The Titans would prefer for Wolff or Shudak to prove capable of being a long-term solution. Ryan Stonehouse is an excellent example. We’ll see if the Titans are fortunate enough to find a multi-year answer on special teams two offseasons in a row.