The Jets are heading into preseason with several open questions, including who will serve as the team’s kicker this season.
Gang Green will bring veterans Greg Zuerlein and Eddy Piñeiro into their opening preseason game on Friday night against the Eagles, with the coaches looking to decide on their long-term option before the season starts on Sept. 11.
Zuerlein spent the first 8 seasons with the Rams, where he played 119 games, before joining the Dallas Cowboys for the last 2 years, and played 32 games. He made the Pro Bowl once in his career, which came with the Rams in 2017.
Over his career, Zuerlein has attempted 321 field goals, and made 264 of them — marking an 82.24% completion rate. That is largely in line with his stats over the past 2 years in Dallas, where he made 82.9% of his attempts.
The Cowboys cut the kicker after the season, and the Jets signed the 34-year-old as a free agent.
For more coverage of the Jets kicker competition, head to amNY.com.
Piñeiro, meanwhile, joined the NFL in 2018, but was quickly placed on injured reserve. He later made his professional debut with the Chicago Bears in 2019, and made 23 out of 28 field goal attempts (82.1%).
He later missed the 2020 season with a groin injury, and was released after the seasons.
The Jets signed Piñeiro mid-season last year, and appeared in 5 games, where he made 8 out of 8 field goals attempted.
Now, the Jets will give both of the two veteran kickers a chance this preseason to prove themselves, and pick one to head into the season.
“It is neck-and-neck,” said head coach Robert Saleh, according to the New York Post. “They’re both doing a really nice job kicking the ball.”
As part of that competition, the team will look to play conservatively on 4th downs in an effort to give both men a chance to kick as much as possible, said Saleh.
“There are going to be some fourth downs where we send the kicking unit out instead of going for it. It’s for a reason — to see where those guys are at,” he said. “Fans, don’t get mad.”