The Atlanta Falcons made a surprising signing this week: they added a kicker.
Don’t they already have two healthy kickers?
Yes, the team has a seemingly healthy Matt Bryant and David Marvin. Bryant had been coming back from an injury, but there have been no suggestions he aggravated any injury. The Falcons gave him a $2 million signing bonus on a three-year deal this offseason, so it seems very unlikely he gets cut.
So what’s the deal?
The statement says the Falcons do indeed have three kickers on the roster, suggesting no one will be released immediately. The team dropped Colby Pearson last week with an injury settlement, and had the roster spot open, so there is technically no need for to cut anyone.
Tavecchio, 28, was released by the Raiders earlier this offseason after appearing in 16 games for Oakland in 2017. In his lone NFL season, Tavecchio made 16 of his 21 field goal attempts, including three from 50-plus yards, and 33 of his 34 extra point attempts.
OK, those are not terribly impressive numbers. Spending most of the offseason unemployed also suggests Tavecchio is just a “camp body” at this point, even though we are in preseason.
The Falcons have opted to go for an aggressive number of fourth down conversions instead of giving David Marvin a chance at kicking. He missed his only field goal attempt against the New York Jets, but completed both PATs against the Kansas City Chiefs and made one kickoff against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
I don’t see Marvin making this roster either, but the Falcons may be looking for their best emergency player in the likely event of an injury to either Matt Bryant or Matt Bosher. I would guess the Falcons keep Bryant out against the Miami Dolphins to ensure he’s fully healthy come the Philadelphia Eagles game in week one. That’s really out best guess. Signing any player at this point is a little odd, as the team will almost certainly cut that player in just a few more days.
Update: Per Jason Butt of the Athletic, the Falcons will not play Matt Bosher against the Dolphins.
Matt Bosher will not punt Thursday. David Marvin will handle those duties.— Jason Butt (@JasonHButt) August 27, 2018
The Falcons will keep both Bryant and Bosher on ice in the meaningless preseason game, and Marvin will punt while newly signed Tavecchio will be the kicker. Based on this preseason’s lineups, Dan Quinn wants to keep his proven players healthy at all costs.