Matt Bryant is 41 years old, and there has long been somewhat of a wall that seems to sap kickers of their effectiveness beyond the age of 40. There have been only about 15 kickers who have kicked beyond that milestone, and you gotta be great to have that kind of longevity.
Bryant is objectively a great kicker, and he showed it in 2016 en route to the NFL’s scoring title. He went 34/37, for a 91.9% field goal percentage that was the second best of his career, and hit 56 of a career high 57 extra points. He also recently owned me on Twitter, which is significantly less difficult to do.
@TheFalcoholic this is where I type a bunch of stuff pertaining 2 that statement but then erase it because it's only 1 day after Christmas— matt bryant (@Matt_Bryant3) December 26, 2016
Bryant has kicked for 158 sweet, sweet points this last season, 17 more than any other player in the NFL.
On balance, it was one of the best years of his career, and it’s a career that deserves all the accolades it appears to deserve. Bryant has now kicked in the NFL since 2002, in Atlanta since 2009, and owns one of the best field goal percentages in the league since he came to the Falcons, including innumerable tough kicks in pressure-filled situations. He truly is money, and he’s done it well past the point kickers are supposed to be able to get it done.
Bryant is under contract next year at a very reasonable $2.83 million, less than he made this year, and I’m no longer willing to bet on Father Time stealing the power within his leg in the immediate future. He should be back and part of what I hope will be another terrific Falcons team, and congratulations are in order to the ageless wonder.