As a 43-year kicker on an expiring contract, there was some reason to question whether Vinatieri would return for his 21st NFL season in 2016. However, after weighing the decision during the off season, the veteran kicker intends to keep playing. "Not only a season, but Lord willing, a couple of years. There will come a time when it's over for me. i don't think that time is yet," Vinatieri told the Indianapolis Star. Vinatieri only attempted 27 field goals last season, but he converted on 25 of them (92.6, ranking him fourth in the league) and he was a perfect 8-for-8 between 40 and 49 yards. His contract is set to expire in the near future, but all indications are that he will try to return to the Colts for his 11th season with the organization.
Six of his misses came from 50-plus yards, with the other coming from 40-49. Tucker can become an unrestricted free agent in March, and he has a very strong case to become the highest-paid kicker in NFL history. However, the Ravens may opt to use the franchise tag, which would make Tucker a very nice bargain, at least for 2016. The most likely scenario features the Ravens using the franchise tag, then using it as leverage to negotiate a long-term contract. Tucker has proven to be a top-notch fantasy kicker, even when the Baltimore offense is mediocre.
Like his Super Bowl 50 counterpart (Brandon McManus), Gano has yet to miss a kick in the postseason, including a success from 40-49 in both games to date. After making 15-for-20 from 40-plus in the regular season, he's fairly reliable from distance, but more often than not, the NFL's highest-scoring offense handed him PATs, as evidenced by a league-leading 59 attempts.
McManus is pacing the postseason leaderboard with 23 points, which was powered by five field goals made in the divisional round against the Steelers. Including playoffs, he's posted an 88.1-percent success rate in that realm, a mark that would rank ninth among all kickers that logged a full 16-game slate in the regular season. Nonetheless, he'll have his work cut out for him in Super Bowl 50 against a Panthers unit that conceded the second-fewest points per game to kickers (6.0) in 2015.
Finishing the regular season as the NFL's third-leading scorer, Catanzaro secured 28 of 31 field goal tries and 53 of 58 from the new extra-point distance en route to 137 points. When the opposition quelled the offense, he was still afforded plenty of field goals -- see Week 4 against the Rams and Week 6 at Pittsburgh -- but his opportunities dwindled starting in the season finale. Over the last three games, he netted two of three field goals and three of four extra points for a mere 12 points. While the Cardinals may not uphold this season's standard in 2016, Catanzaro should again augment one of the league's most-balanced offenses.
The 38-year-old filled in well, all things considered. Matt Bryant has one year left on his contract, and while the team will probably look for a younger option this season, the 38-year-old Graham isn't going to be a long term option.
It was a disappointing year for Bryant, as he missed more kicks this year than he did in 2014 despite playing in six fewer games and attempting 14 fewer kicks. He's got one more year left on his contract, but it won't be surprising if the Falcons bring in a young kicker to push the 40-year-old veteran in camp.
Boswell was a perfect seven of seven on field-goals in the post season, and connected on 29 of 32 field-goals, including a long of 51 yards during the regular season. He also converted 26 of 27 extra point attempts. Boswell was the fourth kicker for Pittsburgh in 2015, and ended up setting Steelers' records for rookie/first year kickers for successful field-goals and for scoring (113 points) in a single season. His 90.6 field-goal percentage ranks first among rookie/first year players in team history, and is tied for fourth in a single season in Steelers history behind Shaun Suisham in 2013 (93.8) Gary Anderson in 1993 (93.3) and Jeff Reed in 2007 (92.0). It remains to be seen who will handle the kicking duties for the Steelers in 2016, but Suisham is owed over $10.5 million over the next three seasons, while Boswell has one year remaining at $525,000.
Carpenter had the fewest field-goal attempts (27) and worst field-goal percentage (85.2) this season in his three-year stint with the Bills. He also missed six extra point attempts, giving him the second worst percentage in the league. He is under contract through the 2017 season.
Nugent had another solid season for the Bengals, with a field-goal percentage of 82.1, including a two of three mark from beyond the 50-yard line. He is under contract with the Bengals through the 2016-17 season.