The New England Patriots seemed set to start rookie undrafted free agent Quinn Nordin at kicker, but not so fast.
On Saturday, Bill Belichick elevated veteran kicker Nick Folk from the practice squad which brings into question: who will handle field goals and/or extra points in the Week 1 tilt against the Miami Dolphins.
Immediately, a narrative that suggests the Patriots don’t have full trust in their rookie kicker began to spread.
NBC Sports’ Darren Hartwell plainly said, the Patriots “may not fully trust” Nordin.
One Patriots Analyst Saw the Signs That Something Might Be at Play With the Kickers
NBC Sports’ Phil A. Perry answered fan questions concerning Nordin and Folk, and he suggested this could happen and what it would imply in regard to the team’s trust in Nordin. Perry wrote:
I’m not even certain Quinn Nordin will be the guy on Sunday, Chuck. With the new practice-squad rules being what they are, maybe Nick Folk is called up for the game and in uniform. But the Patriots liked Nordin enough to keep him on the roster. And if they like him that much, they might as well give him a chance in pressure situations to see what he can handle. Keeping Folk around would suggest to me that — if Folk isn’t the top kicker Sunday — there could be a quick hook on Nordin should he struggle.
Perry has a point. Some are of the belief the Patriots will perhaps allow Folk to kick extra points, considering that is something Nordin struggled with during the preseason (missing three), and the rookie who boasts a notably strong leg, would be called on for field-goal duties.
There’s also a chance the Patriots could use Nordin for field-goal attempts of 50 yards or more because he has the stronger leg. As usual with the Patriots, there is a plan.
There is a Method to Belichick’s Madness
Everything the Patriots do as an organization is methodical–even to a fault. The moves with the kickers are no exception as OTC’s Jason Fitzgerald noted:
While the move may offer the Patriots some roster flexibility, it also puts them in a position to save money in the event they elect to dump Folk completely to go with Nordin at some point this season.
During a preseason presser, Belichick noted the benefits of having access to 2 kickers. He said:
I think there’s a lot of merit to it. That’s why he’s on the practice squad, and, as all the players are, with the two standard activations that teams are allowed to have, that’s a lot different than it was going back to ’19 where it was a whole different set of rules. There’s certainly more flexibility, and I feel like right now we have two good kickers combined in our total roster, and to me, that’s a good thing.
We’ll find out how good it is on Sunday.
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