After the position was an absolute trainwreck to begin the year in 2021, the New York Jets finally found some consistency at kicker when they brought in Eddy Pineiro.
The high-end prospect in 2018 has become a journeyman leg after flaming out in Chicago, mainly due to various injuries. With the Jets, Pineiro managed to stay healthy, nailing all eight of his attempts to close out the season.
Needless to say, the fanbase was thrilled by his competence. Not only that, many were willing to settle on the Florida product long-term, calling for an extension even. Despite those pleas, GM Joe Douglas did make supporters sweat a bit heading into free agency with no deal in place — until March 16.
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‘Eddy Money’ Gets Paid
According to NFL insider Adam Schefter: “[The] Jets [are] tendering RFA Eddy Pineiro for one year at $2.433 million, per [Drew Rosenhaus].”
It’s a nice deal for a player that Gang Green picked up off the scrap heap in 2021. Shortly after, the kicker took to Twitter to share his gratitude, writing: “Thank you God for this opportunity.”
It wasn’t just a joyous moment for Pineiro, it was one for the fanbase too. After years of Jets GMs “cheaping out” at the kicker position, Douglas and HC Robert Saleh actually rewarded a success story — Jason Myers and Nick Folk would be proud.
At the end of the day, this is a relatively inexpensive deal and a no-brainer quite frankly. The real test will come after a full season of efficiency, that is if Pineiro can hold onto the job.
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More Competition Incoming?
During the season ticket holder conference call in February, Coach Saleh made some telling remarks about the kicker position going forward.
First of all, he hinted that the Jets would re-sign Pineiro, and now we know that to be true.
“It’s one of the more underrated aspects of football,” Saleh voiced, “the kicker scores points so he’s gotta be on it… We really like the way Eddy Pineiro finished off the season. His leg seemed to get stronger as the year went on and the young man is unflappable which is kind of what you need in New York.”
But he didn’t stop there. While Pineiro probably has the inside track at the job, Saleh made it clear that the franchise will leave no stone unturned in finding the long-term answer.
He concluded: “Really excited about him but there’s also going to be some competition that’s brought in [because] you’re right, that position is very very very important and can’t be understated, and when you find a good one you gotta hold on to him for dear life. But we like the way Eddy finished the season and bringing in some competition will be a definite topic for this offseason.”
That means we cannot rule out another veteran signing or a low-round draft pick. The Green & White could even take a page out of the Cincinnati Bengals playbook once again, after the AFC champions spent a fifth-round selection on top prospect Evan McPherson in 2021.
This year’s version of McPherson is probably LSU sensation Cade York, who would make for an easy headline if he was drafted by the Jets or Giants. Douglas currently owns two fifth-round picks, and could also trade back to accumulate a sixth or seventh.
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