Patriots Sign Veteran After Releasing Oft-Injured Longshot

Getty Tristan Vizcaino

It appears as though Tristan Vizcaino’s tryout went well.

The New England Patriots signed the former Los Angeles Chargers kicker after releasing Quinn Nordin, the strong-legged Michigan graduate, who suffered a non-football-related injury, per CLNS’ Evan Lazar.

Tristan Vizcaino Will Provide Nick Folk Competition

Vizcaino is now expected to compete with veteran kicker Nick Folk for the starting job in training camp. and preseason. Vizcaino has already spent time with several NFL organizations. In addition to the Chargers, Vizcaino has spent time with the Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills.

He’s appeared in a total of seven NFL games and he’s made the most of those opportunities. He has a 90% accuracy rate on field goals, nailing nine of the 10 attempts he’s had as a pro. He’s struggled a bit on extra points making just 12 of 17 in his games with the Niners and Chargers.

Vizcaino has spent time in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Chargers. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder has played in seven NFL games and is 9-of-10 on field goal attempts and 12-of-17 on extra points in games with the 49ers and Chargers.

Wrestling the starting job away from Folk won’t be easy. The well-traveled veteran has been strong the last two seasons. After having a career year in 2020, making 92.9% of his field goals, Folk put together a similarly strong 2021 campaign.

The soon-to-be-38-year-old made 92.3% of his kicks in 2021. If he shows the same consistency, Vizcaino will not be able to unseat him. However, with kickers, injury and slumps create a necessity for a backup plan, and it appears that’s what Vizcaino is being brought in to provide.

Quinn Nordin & the Patriots Couldn’t Get Aligned

Nordin may get an opportunity with another NFL team once he gets healthy. Leg strength hasn’t been his issue throughout college or during his time in Patriots camp. He consistently shows the leg to boot long-range kicks.

Unfortunately, consistent accuracy and health have been his biggest impediments. In four years kicking for the Michigan Wolverines, Nordin made just 72% of his field-goal attempts. That includes just two makes in five attempts his senior season.

Unlike Folk and Vizcaino, extra points weren’t an issue. He missed just five extra points in 124 attempts. With the Patriots, Nordin showed more erratic kicking habits.

In the Patriots’ second preseason game in 2021, Nordin missed a 36-yard attempt and two extra points. He also misfired on a 54-yarder in the Patriots’ third and final preseason game. Despite his struggles, the Patriots kept him around for depth and his potential. Nordin landed on injured reserve in September 2021 with an abdominal injury.

Nordin struggled in the Patriots’ second preseason game, missing a 36-yard field goal wide right and a pair of extra points wide right in the matchup against Philadelphia. He also missed a 54-yard field goal wide left in the team’s preseason finale against the Giants.

Apparently, his latest injury was a but too much for the Patriots to overcome and moved past. The Patriots just concluded a mandatory mini-camp this past week and the exhibition season begins on August 11 at home against the New York Giants.

The Patriots will play two other preseason games. The second happens on August 19 against the Carolina Panthers. The preseason finale in on August 26 against Josh McDaniels and the Las Vegas Raiders.

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