The Los Angeles Chargers have decided to move on from kicker Caleb Sturgis.
Despite signing the former Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles kicker to a two-year contract this offseason, it only took half a season for the team to realize it was a bad move. Sturgis was one of the worst kickers the team has had come through the doors in recent years and his misses (one field goal, two extra points) against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday were the final straw.
It’s not like he wasn’t given a fair chance.
The Chargers cut Mike Badgley (and then signed him back to the practice squad) when Sturgis was ready to return from injury despite the fact that Badgley made all of his kicks in his absence. In addition, the team also brought in a holder who Sturgis was familiar with in former Eagles punter Donnie Jones.
Jones wasn’t exactly a great choice. The veteran punter had retired in the offseason and was sitting at home when the Chargers called…. all because he could apparently hold on kicks better than Kaser.
Kaser was let go despite being a promising draft pick of the Chargers in 2016 and that decision was made, at least in part, because the team felt he was the reason all of the kickers kept shanking field goals and extra points.
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Earlier in the week, Kaser was signed by the Green Bay Packers as their punter, JK Scott, wS expecting the birth of a child. Kaser was released on Monday, making him a free agent again.
The Chargers should bring him back as he’s a much better punter than the aging Jones. The statistics speak for themselves.
Donnie Jones is averaging just 41.8 yards per punt while Kaser averaged 48.4 on the season. Last year, Kaser ranked in the top five in the league in both punting average and net average.
In addition, because Badgley, the guy who will be the kicker for now, seems to lack the leg on kickoffs, Kaser could help in that aspect and perhaps be used as a kickoff specialist.
It may not be a must to get Kaser back on the roster, but the team can certainly do better than Jones. And if the main reason for this move was because Jones was so much better at holding for kickers, well, that hasn’t panned out either.