Graham Gano won’t be kicking for the Chargers

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 08: Kicker Graham Gano
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 08: Kicker Graham Gano /

The Los Angeles Chargers will be leaving no stone unturned in their attempt to find a new kicker next season. That player may already be on the roster, but there are many options to consider.

One of those options, Graham Gano, can be scratched off that list. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported on Tuesday that Gano and the Carolina Panthers have agreed to terms on a new deal.

The #Panthers and K Graham Gano agreed to terms on a 4-year deal worth $17M with $9M guaranteed, per @MikeGarafolo and me.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 6, 2018

Gano’s name was at or near the top of most Chargers’ fans wish list as he was probably the top kicker on the market. The Panthers made sure that no other team was able to take a crack at signing him.

Gano began his career with the Washington Redskins, but has been in Carolina for the past six seasons. During that time, he has made 151 out of his 177 field goal attempts with the team. Last season, he went 29-for-30 on field goal attempts with his only miss coming from over 50 yards. That was much better than any kicker did for the Chargers last season, a team that basically missed the playoffs because its kicking was so bad.

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With Gano off the market, their are still several kickers set to become unrestricted free agents, such as Sebastian Janikowski, Chandler Catanzaro, Cody Parkey and Caleb Sturgis. However, the team may opt to add a kicker through the draft. Florida’s Eddy Pineiro or Auburn’s Daniel Carlson are probably better options than any of those free agents.

But Gano was a solid option, even if he would have cost a pretty penny.

The Chargers currently have Nick Rose and Roberto Aguayo (who is on his fourth team in two years) on the roster. Those aren’t exactly settling options.

Since the year 2000, only nine kickers have been drafted in the fourth round or earlier (one was Aguayo). The belief is that you can find one in later rounds or even as an undrafted free agent. But considering the problems the team had last year, few would blame the Chargers for drafting a kicker in the fourth round or earlier and that might be the best move the team can make.