Kickers… It doesn’t matter that they almost always lead their team in points scored, it still seems hard to respect players whose only physical contact comes when their foot hits the ball. Is that fair? No, especially, when we love to bash their inefficiencies every time they fail to connect on a field goal.
While we often view them as the ugly stepchild, kickers are still a part of the game. Well, at least for now. With the NFL announcing that they are at least considering eliminating extra point kicks, kickers everywhere are fighting back in an attempt to reassert their importance.
One of those standing up against the NFL is Adam Vinatieri, arguably the foremost and most respected name in kickers. He told PFT Live’s Mike Florio that it would be a “crying shame” if the NFL actually went through with their threat of abolishing extra points from the game of football.
Vinatieri doesn’t believe kickers should be punished for simply getting better over the years.
“Back in the 50s and 60s if you were 70 percent you were leading the league,” said Vinatieri. “Now, shoot, you got guys that don’t miss any or maybe miss just one or two kicks all season.”
Not only does Vinatieri believe kickers should be respected for their hard work, he hopes that they can actually gain more importance. With the talent level growing across the league, Vinatieri has put forth the idea that field goals of 50 yards or longer should now be worth four, instead of three, points.
Sure, one point may sound like a relatively small change, but the consequences could be drastic. Not only would it reward kickers who are accurate at long distance, but it would also incentivize teams to refrain from driving deep into their opponents territory if they had any reservations about their ability to score a touchdown. Obviously, the seven points earned with a touchdown would always be the number one goal, but a four-point field goal is much more desirable than a three-point one. A rule change such as this would severely affect the way in which coaches on both sides of the ball make decisions.
Now, is a change in the value of field goals likely? No, not really, but with other talks already taking place that have to do with longstanding scoring standards, it seems more likely now than ever before. The more serious question would be whether or not it would be good for the game.
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