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Patriots bring in five kickers for free agency workouts

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New England is looking at some kicking options.

NFL: DEC 11 Jets at 49ers Photo by Samuel Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After losing Stephen Gostkowski for the year because of a hip injury, the New England Patriots brought in numerous kickers for workouts before going with veteran Mike Nugent. Two games into his tenure with the club, Nugent — who is exclusively used as a place kicker and does not handle kickoffs — has been serviceable but not awe-inspiring: he made two of his three field goal attempts and was also successful on eight of nine extra point tries.

While there is no indication that the Patriots plan to move on from the veteran, they are continuing to take a look at all available options and have an open spot on their practice squad after moving on from kicker Younghoe Koo. After already having kicker Nick Rose in for a free agency workout last week, the team now invited five more (via the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson). Let’s take a closer look at the five men in question:

K Nick Folk

Nick Folk originally entered the NFL as a sixth-round draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 2007 and was named to the Pro Bowl in his first year. However, he failed to build on his early success and was released midway through his third season after making just 64.3% of his field goal attempts (18 of 28) that year. Folk went on to join the New York Jets in 2010, with whom he spent the next seven seasons. In 2017, he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but had another disappointing year — he made just six of 11 field goals (54.5%) and seven of nine extra points — that ultimately ended on injured reserve. The now-34-year-old spent the entire 2018 season out of football before signing with the short-lived AAF.

K Greg Joseph

An undrafted free agent signing by the Miami Dolphins last year, Greg Joseph spent the majority of 2018 with the Cleveland Browns who signed him as a free agent — he had been released by the Dolphins during roster cutdowns — in mid-September. Joseph went on to have a solid but unspectacular season: the rookie made 17 of 20 field goal attempts (85.0%) as well as 25 of 29 point-after tries (86.2%). He spent 2019’s training camp with the Browns but was ultimately released in favor of rookie Austin Seibert.

K Austin MacGinnis

After failing to secure a spot on an NFL roster after the 2018 draft — he had two separate workouts with the Chicago Bears but was not signed — Austin MacGinnis tried his luck in the AAF, signing with the Memphis Express. Before the league folded, the now-24-year-old made nine of his 11 field goal attempts (the AAF did not have PATs) for a success rate of 81.8%. That number is similar to the one he posted during his final collegiate season at Kentucky. Back in 2017, he made 22 of 28 field goal tries (78.6%) as well as all 36 extra points.

K/P Austin Rehkow

Austin Rehkow did not hear his name called during the 2017 draft, but joined the Buffalo Bills as a rookie free agent. He failed to secure a spot on the team, however, and had to spend the entire season out of football. After a short and equally unsuccessful stint with the New York Giants, Rehkow signed a contract with the AAF’s Salt Lake Stallions, who used him as a punter: he averaged 45.1 yards per kick, while the Stallions surrendered an average of 9.0 yards per punt return. While he did not attempt a place kick in the AAF, the 24-year-old does have a solid track record: he made 26 of 29 field goals (89.7%) in his final season at Idaho as well as 42 of 44 PATs (85.5%).

K Giorgio Tavecchio

After unsuccessful stints in San Francisco, Green Bay and Detroit, Giorgio Tavecchio finally made his way onto a 53-man NFL roster in 2017 — his sixth year in the league: the Oakland Raiders named him their place kicker after veteran Sebastian Janikowski had to be placed on injured reserve. Tavecchio was a serviceable stand-in that made 16 of 21 field goal attempts (76.2%) as well as all but one of his 34 extra points (97.1%). After the season, the Italian-born kicker went on to join the Atlanta Falcons as an injury replacement for Matt Bryant: he was successful on all 13 of his kicks (five field goals, eight PATs).