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Graham Gano released: Former Panther an option for the Giants’ kicker position?

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The 63-yard field goal brings back painful memories, but is Gano a better option than Chandler Catanzaro?

New York Giants v Carolina Panthers Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Giants have recently found themselves in the kicking market after former Giants’ kicker Aldrick Rosas was released from the squad. Big Blue induced former Cardinals’ and Jets’ kicker Chandler Catanzaro to come out of retirement and potentially be the 2020 kicker for the Giants.

It would be far fetched to imagine that Dave Gettleman was just going to give the kicking position to Catanzaro, a 29-year-old player who has been out of the NFL for a year. On July 30th, it was revealed via Instagram that Panthers’ kicker Graham Gano was released; it was a move that many saw coming after Joey Slye’s 2019 campaign in Carolina.

Gano missed the entire 2019 season with a knee injury after signing a 4-year, $17 million, extension in 2018. It was all but certain that he would be released after Slye proved himself. Before the injury, Gano was one of the best kickers in the league. You too may be cringing while reading this piece on Gano due to the 63-yard field goal he hit against the Giants, as time expired, in 2018. It was a painful early season loss, in a highly-competitive game, but it assists in proving that Gano was very competent when healthy.

Gano, 33, has a lifetime field goal percentage of 82.1. In 2017, he had a 96.7 percent rate and in 2018 he had an 87.5 percent rate while making 3 of 4 kicks from 50+ yards. Catanzaro was 80 percent with field goals in 2018 for the Buccaneers and Panthers (all his misses were with Tampa Bay), with a long of 59 yards in that season.

Both kickers did not play in 2019, which gives me some concern, but I am all for competition. Gano is still young, presumably healthy, and was a very good kicker in Carolina. Dave Gettleman awarded Gano a contract extension back in 2014, will he give him a contract and opportunity to compete in 2020?