There's not much for player news this time of year, so word that three Canadian Football League kickers tried out with the Falcons this week (hand-delivered to The Falcoholic by a rogue Mountie) is enough to make me quirk a magnificent eyebrow or two.
Hat tip to The Montreal Gazette, which reported that Montreal Alouettes kicker Damon Duval joined Calgary Stampeders kicker Sandro DeAngelis and Toronto Argonauts kicker Justin Medlock. Admittedly I've been known to read too much into things, but I believe the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Or the Falcons don't have that much confidence in their current two in-house options, Matt Bryant and Steve Hauschka. Either one.
Medlock is accurate and DeAngelis is known for his leg, but if this Canadian "newspapereh?" is to be believed, the team is impressed enough by Duval in particular that they're considering offering him a contract. This could be an indication that Bryant is not being viewed as a long-term solution and Hauschka's confidence issues aren't something the team sees dissipating rapidly enough. At 29, Duval had a cup of coffee with the Falcons during the off-season back in 2003 and has since moved on into the CFL, but he's reputedly got a strong leg and pretty good accuracy. He's young enough for a kicker that the team could squeeze a few quality years out of him, if they believe his talent level's high enough to justify a roster spot.
It couldn't hurt to bring him aboard if the Falcons are serious about giving him a try, and I welcome anybody who I think might have a shot at improving the team. It doesn't bode particularly well for either Bryant or Hauschka that the team had these guys flown in on wooden helicopters off the glaciers of Canadia, however, and this is a clear sign that there's going to be considerable competition for that job in the off-season. After Jason Elam's struggles in 2009, I don't think it's unfair to welcome that level of competition if it means getting the right man for the job.
Your thoughts, gentle (and therefore not Canadian) readers?