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5 veteran kickers the Titans should consider signing

Death, taxes, and the Tennessee Titans having kicking woes

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Titans made a kicking change on Tuesday. The club waived both Caleb Shudak and Trey Wolff, who hadn’t inspired much confidence throughout training camp and the preseason. The problem? They replaced them with Michael Badgley, who arguably had a worse practice on Tuesday than anything Wolff and Shudak had previously put forth. Badgley missed four kicks on Tuesday and didn’t receive a ringing endorsement from head coach Mike Vrabel, who admitted the team may look elsewhere.

Titans general manager Ran Carthon should continue analyzing his options before the team’s regular-season opener with the New Orleans Saints. Plenty of veteran kickers remain on the market. We’ve swiftly identified five potential options.

Mason Crosby, free agent

The 38-year-old Mason Crosby has local ties to the state of Tennessee and remains on the open market. Crosby is a former Super Bowl champion (XLV) and NFL scoring leader (2007) that connected on 25-of-29 field goal attempts with the Green Bay Packers last season. Crosby’s 86.2% make percentage represented a bounce-back number for the Lubbock, Texas native who endured the worst season of his career in 2021.

Nick Folk, New England Patriots

Nick Folk is currently employed by the New England Patriots, but will he survive cut-down day? The Patriots drafted former Maryland kicker Chad Ryland, which typically spells bad news for the veteran kicker on the roster. The Pats aren’t going to cut Ryland, so unless Bill Belichick is willing to carry two kickers on the 53-man roster (I wouldn’t put it past him), Folk could soon be reaching the market. Folk was outstanding for the Patriots in 2020 and 2021, but regressed a little in 2022.

Robbie Gould, free agent

Robbie Gould kicked for the San Francisco 49ers last season, but wasn’t re-signed by the team in unrestricted free agency. Gould was replaced by Jake Moody, who the 49ers drafted. Gould connected on 84.4 percent of his field goal attempts last season. He’s been an 80-percent kicker for three consecutive seasons. It leaves some to be desired, but Gould is a proven kicker that also made 50-of-51 extra points last year.

Dustin Hopkins, Los Angeles Chargers

Dustin Hopkins currently kicks for the Los Angeles Chargers, but like Folk, may not survive cut-down day. The Chargers also have Cameron Dicker, who replaced an injured Hopkins last season. Dicker was excellent for the Chargers down the stretch and is significantly younger than Hopkins is. The Chargers may seek draft-pick compensation in exchange for Hopkins, who was a 90 percent kicker last season before going down with injury.

Ryan Succop, free agent

Could the Titans pursue a reunion with Ryan Succop? The franchise has experienced kicking woes ever since releasing Succop midway through the 2019 campaign. Succop bounced back nicely with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, making 90.3% of his kicks in 2020, because of course he did. Succop wasn’t as reliable in 2021 and 2022, which led to him being a cap casualty earlier this offseason. The Titans should kick the tires on Succop.