JUST IN: Packers Signs In Kicker As GM Threatens To Terminate The Contract Of Under-performing Rookie If He Does Not Improve

The Green Bay Packers’ patience is wearing thin with one of their 2023 draft picks.

Packers prepared to 'weather the storm' at kicker with Anders Carlson

On Tuesday, February 27, general manager Brian Gutekunst spoke to members of the media at the NFL Combine. He discussed a variety of things, including kicker Anders Carlson’s problems.

“There’s gonna need to be a curve of getting better if that’s going to continue,” Gutekunst said, according to Matt Schneidman of The Athletic.

Anders Carlson’s Costly Playoff Miss Against 49ers Amplified Packers’ Concerns

Carlson’s most memorable mistake during his first season occurred during the Packers’ Divisional Round loss to the San Francisco 49ers on the road in January.

The Green Bay kicker missed a 41-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter of a game that his team ultimately lost by three points. Quarterback Jordan Love threw two interceptions in that game, one of which came on the Packers’ final offensive snap of the playoffs.

However, Carlson takes the taint of “choking” into the offseason, as fans and commentators have praised Love (rightfully so, by the way) as the organization’s future franchise quarterback and a worthy replacement for four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers.

While Love is now expected to sign a contract extension worth $200 million or more, Carlson will enter training camp competing for his job just one year after Green Bay drafted him out of Auburn with a sixth-round choice.

Packers Signed New Kicker to Compete With Anders Carlson in Offseason

Whether fair or not, Carlson’s inaccurate boot late against the 49ers is the defining moment of his young career. But this isn’t the only one.

No club can expect a kicker to be flawless, especially in his first NFL season, but Carlson fell far short of expectations for a kicker the Packers not only drafted but also signed to a four-year contract worth almost $4 million.

Carlson converted 27 of 33 field goal attempts during the 2023 regular season. While Carlson was flawless from 39 yards and in, he only connected on 50% of his tries from 40-49 yards (4-of-8) and 60% on kicks from 50 yards and up (3-of-5), according to Pro Football Reference. He also missed five extra points in 39 attempts throughout the course of the year.

Given Carlson’s regular-season performance, it is logical to believe that Green Bay’s faith in him had diminished prior to the playoffs.

However, Tom Rinaldi of FOX Sports provided an in-game report shortly after Carlson missed a fourth-quarter field goal in San Francisco, confirming Packers head coach Matt LaFleur’s concerns about the kicker’s consistency.

“When we talked to the head coach Matt LaFleur about this, he basically said, ‘When he goes out there, I just pray,'” Rinaldi said in a statement.

LaFleur later questioned Rinaldi’s report, claiming that the comments were not presented in the proper context.

Shortly after, the Packers hired former Georgia kicker Jack Podlesny, who will battle with Carlson for the starting job this offseason. Green Bay will most likely cut the loser of that competition at some time this summer.

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