The Falcons got a few impressive performances Thursday night, and curiously, one of them came from the team’s current backup kicker. It was enough to make you wonder whether Mike Meyer might just hang around this year.
To be clear, I’m talking about the practice squad, because Meyer upsetting Matt Bryant would be one of the most stunning developments of the offseason. That’s true even after Meyer handled kickoffs, nailed a 50-plus yarder and hit a relative chipshot against the Dolphins, because preseason games don’t magically matter more for kickers. Still, it’s evident already that Meyer has a better leg than some of Bryant’s previous challengers.
Most years, this isn’t even a question. Bryant has continued to kick at a high level into his 40s, and it’s no longer fair to ask whether the dropoff is coming, because he cleared the 40 year old milestone with no major problems. The end of his career will come at some point, but aside from a missed field goal in a preseason game, there’s nothing to indicate it will be 2017.
The Falcons will have to make a tough call if they want to keep Meyer around, because that’s surrendering a practice squad spot for a player you might not use all year, at a non-premium position. On the other hand, they’ll need a replacement for Bryant sooner or later, or if injury strikes, having a young option available would certainly help.
The odds are still against it, but hitting that long field goal was enough to convince me Meyer has a shot to hang around. Let’s see if he can build on that in the coming weeks.