The New York Giants’ placekicking job has been in flux since Week Five of last season when Josh Brown was released after a disturbing history of domestic violence was uncovered. The team scrambled for a replacement. They first brought in veteran Randy Bullock and then settled on veteran Robbie Gould, the longtime Chicago Bear. Gould finished out the year, but then signed with San Francisco in free agency this offseason.
Gould’s expected defection meant the Giants will be looking for another new kicker this season. They currently have just one kicker under contract at the moment, Aldrick Rosas, an undrafted free agent out of Southern Oregon who was signed and cut by the Tennessee Titans last summer. Rosas was then tried out by the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys but not signed.
After the draft two weeks ago, GM Jerry Reese was asked the million-dollar question about who would be handling the kicking duties for the Giants and if they planned on bringing in any other kickers to challenge Rosas.
“We’ll continue to look at that,” Reese said. “We have a young kid (Rosas) on the roster with a big leg that we want to take a look at and see how he looks in the spring. There’s always going to be veteran kickers out there available. We will see where that goes. There will be free agency after the draft here and we will see what’s left out there after that as well.”
That player hasn’t materialized yet. At Giants’ rookie camp on Friday, Rosas was still the only kicker under contract. Special teams coordinator Tom Quinn was asked if he was surprised the Giants did not address the position at the draft.
“Not necessarily,” said Quinn. “We had a couple of guys that we thought were good enough to kick in this league, but a couple of those guys got drafted. You don’t want to reach for a guy just to have another kicker on your roster.”
The Giants are giving a tryout to Felix Menard-Briere of the University of Montreal, who is also a punter. Also at camp Friday was former Cleveland Browns kicker Travis Coons, who was out of the NFL in 2016. Coons hit 28-of-32 field goals for Cleveland in 2015 with a long of 47 yards.
“It’ll be interesting to work with him,” said Quinn. “I’ve seen just a little bit of tape on him. It’ll be nice to work with him both as a punter and a kicker. Up in the CFL, they do both. He was drafted by Ottawa. It’ll be interesting to get him out on the field with a snapper and some people around him.”
Quinn was asked if it was important to have another kicker in camp to amp up the competition.
“I think that’s a choice that’s made up above my head,” he said. “I don’t know if you necessarily have to. The problem nowadays is there’s a lot less kicks than there used to be. With no more two a days and limited practice, you have to give the guys everything you can. If you start bringing in two or three kickers, it really waters it down.”
On whether that player should be a veteran, Quinn stayed the course.
“No. It’s very simple, he said. “You have to be accurate. We’ve done a good job around here and we have to continue that trend. We have a guy that’s a good snapper and a good holder. Now, we just have to find a kicker. We like working with Aldrick so far.”
The plan for Rosas is elementary. Quinn just wants to see how he kicks in a competitive environment. Then, he’ll be able to judge what the Giants have in this young man. He is not expecting miracles.
“We will try and simulate him and then you have the preseason to go with that,” said Quinn. “We’ve had a couple of nice young kickers in here with Boswell and Brandon McManus. They’ve gone on to do well. It’s not always perfect with the young guys. Sometimes there’s going to be a little bit of hiccups. We’ll see where we go with that.”
With the Giants expected to contend again this season, there will be plenty of pressure no matter who kicks, especially on this team. 11 of the Giants’ 16 games last season were decided by seven points or less.
“I think it’s always important that when you send a kicker out there, you get points,” said Quinn. “When you send him out there, you’re expecting him to make it. You’re not hoping that it’s in the range, you expect him to make it. Whoever lines up there will be accurate and be the guy that we can trust.”
Whether Rosas is that guy remains to be seen.